The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that it has signed first-round draft choice Gabriel Landeskog to a three-year, entry-level contract.
“We are pleased to have Gabriel… under contract,” said Avalanche General Manager/Executive Vice President Greg Sherman.
Landeskog, 18, was taken second overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and became the Avalanche’s highest draft pick since the team moved to Colorado in 1995. The previous high draft pick came in 2009, when the club selected Matt Duchene with the third overall choice. Landeskog was the first player selected second overall in Avalanche/Nordiques history. The Avalanche/ Nordiques franchise drafted first overall three times, 1989 (Mats Sundin), 1990 (Owen Nolan) and 1991 (Eric Lindros).
Landeskog, a native of Stockholm, Sweden, captained the Kitchener Rangers (OHL) this past season, becoming the first European captain in the 48-year history of the Rangers franchise. He was named captain at the age of 17 on Oct. 24, 2010, becoming the youngest player in 30 years to be named captain of the Kitchener Rangers.
Despite an ankle injury shortening his season to just 53 games, Landeskog led Kitchener with 36 goals and finished third with 66 points (36g/30a). He finished second on Kitchener in plus/minus with a +27 rating. In the first round of the 2011 playoffs, Gabriel shared the team lead with six goals and ranked second with 10 points in the seven-game series loss to Plymouth.
Landeskog served as an alternate captain for Sweden at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, but only played one game before being sidelined with a high ankle sprain. He competed for Sweden at the 2009 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, finishing second on the team with four goals in six games. Landeskog captained Sweden’s under-16, under-17, and under-18 teams.