NHL Draft 2013: Avalanche set sights on Nathan MacKinnon

USA TODAY Sports

If the Colorado Avalanche retain the first-overall pick in the 2013 Draft, it sounds as if Nathan MacKinnon will be the player they select with it.

The Colorado Avalanche are interested in selected Nathan MacKinnon with the first-overall selection in the 2013 NHL Draft, according to head coach Patrick Roy as told to ESPN The Magazine.

Colorado has made it known that they are interested in taking a forward with the No. 1 pick in Sunday's draft. Executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic stated that the team was not going to take defenseman Seth Jones with the pick because the top-three forwards in the class were too appealing to pass up.

According to Roy, the team prefers MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin and Alexander Barkov, in that order.

Roy openly discussed how he would like to have MacKinnon begin next season with the team and act as the third-line center. The coach believes this would allow the young forward to develop in a low pressure situation while gaining experience at the highest level.

However, the team has also publicly stated their interest in potentially moving the pick. This has led to speculation that the vocal nature of their plans are a calculated effort to bait other teams into sizable offers for the opportunity to acquire the selection.

As is expected, teams have been contacting Roy about what it would take to swap the position. The Calgary Flames even reportedly offered their three first-round selections in this draft for the pick.

Roy stated that he is solely interested in using the pick to improve the quality of the team, via ESPN.com:

"We have received a lot of calls. [Avalanche executive] Joe [Sakic] has received some. I have received some. It's important for us to see, 'What can we do to make our team better?' We have to look at all options. We can't just close our eyes and say, 'Let's just take a player.'"

The 2013 NHL Draft is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., ET on Sunday. All seven rounds will be held on that day at New Jersey's Prudential Center.

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