The Colorado Avalanche will not be using the No. 1 overall selection in the 2013 NHL Draft to select defenseman Seth Jones, executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic told Adrian Dater of the Denver Post.
Jones has generally been considered the top prospect in this year's class, finishing the year atop Central Scouting's final rankings. In addition, Jones has preexisting ties to the Colorado organization, as he first came into contact with the sport while living in Denver when his father, Ronald "Popeye" Jones, was a member of the Denver Nuggets.
Despite this, Sakic states that Colorado believes the forwards available at the top of the draft are too talented to pass up, via the Denver Post:
"If we do pick first, we're leaning more toward one of those three forwards.
"We feel those three forwards are just too good to pass up."
Alexander Barkov, Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon are the candidates being considered, according to Dater.
Of course, that is if Colorado retains the selection. Head coach and vice president of hockey operations, Patrick Roy, stated during his introductory press conference that the team is considering trading the pick. As of this week, reports indicated that the Calgary Flames offered Colorado the No. 6, No. 22 and No. 28 overall selections in the draft for the first-overall pick. The Avalanche rejected the offer.
Despite public statements to the contrary, Elliotte Friedman of CBC stated that the top-four selections in the draft did not appear as though they were going to trade out of their positions. However, activity on draft day could pick up and change the landscape.
The 2013 NHL Draft is scheduled to take place on June 30, with all seven rounds being held on that day.