While the thought of landing a future superstar like Seth Jones or Nathan MacKinnon at this summer’s NHL Entry Draft may be one of the few things keeping Avalanche fans going these days, Colorado forward Matt Duchene isn’t ready to tank what’s left of the season.
“A top pick would be great, but I think a positive feeling going into the summer from a great finish would be even better for us,” said Duchene, per the Denver Post. “I owe it to every guy in this room and to every person who buys a ticket, who pays good money to come see us and cheer us on, to try to do my best.
“People are playing for future jobs and contracts, and these last 12 games may be meaningless for the playoffs, but for each one of us in here they all mean something. We need to help each other. That’s how we have to finish here.”
Duchene is in the midst an outstanding bounce-back season. The 22-year-old who signed a modest two-year, $7 million deal in June has 35 points in 35 games, ranking him 20th in league scoring.
Despite Duchene’s production, Colorado sits dead last in the NHL heading into tonight’s home game versus Detroit.
The draft lottery will be held Apr. 29, with every non-playoff team having a shot at the first overall pick.