Who should be No. 1?

Avalanche expected to select between Jones, Drouin, MacKinnon or Barkov

Updated: June 20, 2013, 3:16 PM ET
By Corey Pronman | Hockey Prospectus

Seth JonesMarissa Baecker/Getty ImagesDespite Joe Sakic's sentiments, Seth Jones might make the most sense for Colorado at No. 1 overall.

The Colorado Avalanche face a very tough decision on June 30 in terms of what should they do with the first overall pick in the 2013 NHL draft.

There are two issues if they choose to use the No. 1 pick. The first is determining the best player in the 2013 NHL draft class. The second is whether they should simply take the best player no matter what, or incorporate the current depth chart of their organization into the decision.

Tackling the first question requires not only looking at the skill merits, but also any extra risk factors that could create uncertainty on their development. The top of the 2013 class has formed into Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, Valeri Nichushkin and Aleksander Barkov. Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic told the Denver Post the team currently is leaning toward picking MacKinnon, Drouin or Barkov, and classified them as the top three players in the draft.

Corey Pronman is ESPN's NHL Draft and Prospects analyst. He provides analysis on the top draft-eligible players, prospects drafted by NHL teams and all other relevant prospect information. He lives in New York.