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With the Second Overall Pick in the 2011 Draft, Colorado Selects...

April 14, 2011, 11:44 AM ET [ Comments]
Brian Huddle
CHL and NHL Prospects • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Can you feel it now? Greg Sherman approaches the microphone, Avalanche sweater in hand; he knows exactly who he wants.

"With the 2nd Overall Pick in this year's NHL Entry Draft, the Colorado Ava;ance are proud to select, from the Kitchener Rangers... Gabriel Landeskog."

The small but proud group of fans who made the trek from Denver in the building go wild with excitement. It's not often that they're able to take a Swedish forward who models his game after one of the greatest to don the Colorado emblem, Peter Forsberg. Especially after drafting Matt Duchene only two years ago; a kid who drew early comparisons to Foppa's linemate, Joe Sakic.

Countless names have been compared to the Stockholm native, and current Kitchener Ranger Captain. From former Rangers Captain, Mike Richards, to Jarome Iginla, with a little Forsberg and Daniel Alfreddson to complete the mix, Landeskog has been given rave reviews amongst those who have followed his steady development into a top power forward in the Ontario Hockey League.

“I try to be as good as I can; both in my own zone and the offensive zone,” Landeskog told me. “Obviously I want to try to create offence, and score some goals."

Considered by most to be the most complete player in the draft, Landeskog shows many intangibles that scouts love. Not only a man of 'pure class', as many OHL faithful say, but a leader on and off the ice, Landeskog brings more to the table than just his skills.

“Oh, Gabes,” teammate, Ryan Murphy, laughed when I asked him about Landeskog, going into detail about their friendship on and off the ice.

As a player, Landeskog is strong forward. Listed at 6'1 and 207 lbs, Gabriel is known for powerful strides, an accurate shot, and the ability to both dish the puck and drive to the net for goals. The type of player to throw himself in front a shot to block it, Landeskog will also drop the gloves when a teammate is in need.

There are always areas of improvement for players to make the next step, and Gabriel is very aware.

"Just overall strength; handling the puck, and trying to improve my shot."

The son of a former SEL Defenseman, Landeskog is motivated to take the next step. Considered a hard worker, no questions will arise about Landeskog's ability to be an NHL'er over the next couple of years.

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