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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

New Avalanche Scouting Director Ready to Challenge NHL Draft: “With Secrets Comes Opportunity”

The NHL Entry Draft always comes with a lot of question marks, but this weekend’s statistics are the most challenging of all.

Many amateur leagues around the world played shorter seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and some, such as the Ontario Hockey League, did not play at all. In-person scouting was curtailed due to international travel – particularly to Canada – so video and word-of-mouth often replaced live viewing.

But the Avalanche’s new director of amateur scouting, Wade Klippenstein, says he is up to the challenge.

“With secrets comes opportunity,” he said in a video conference call on Tuesday. “…we’ve come up with some creative ways to emulate what we didn’t see, whether it’s through our analytics department, whether it’s through video or other means. I think what we need is Have to work with, every team has done their best with him. It’s not ideal. It would be nice to see more players live, but I think there’s incredible opportunity with this draft.

The avalanche winning the Presidents Trophy may benefit some players by watching them slide.

The AVS have four picks in their seven-round draft, but their first pick doesn’t come until number 28 in Friday’s first round. He took his 61st pick late in Saturday’s second round from New Jersey as part of trading defenseman Ryan Graves to the Devils last week, and he also has third- (92nd) and seventh-round (220th) picks. Huh.

Klippenstein, previously an amateur scout for the Avs since 2016, replaces Alan Hepple, who is now director of pro scouting for the Arizona Coyotes. Hepel’s contract was not renewed by AVS.

Klippenstein, 51, said Colorado’s approach to the draft has not changed.

“We really stick to that best-player-available (philosophy),” he said. “When we make our list, we make our list without considering where we’re going to pick because it can change at any time. So it’s the best player available every time.”

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