The Colorado Avalanche appear to be targeting a forward in the upcoming NHL Draft. Seth Jones and Nathan MacKinnon sit atop most draft boards, and Joe Sakic says his team is likely to pass on Jones for a forward. He did say “if” they pick first. We don’t know which team will make the pick, but let’s meet the player most likely to go at the top.
Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon, a native of Cole Harbour, has drawn comparisons to Sidney Crosby. While he isn’t being projected to be as dominant as Crosby, many think he’ll be a special player and give the 25,000 person Cole Harbour it’s second #1 overall pick.
Just how good is he? Here’s what they’re saying about Nathan MacKinnon.
Hockeysfuture.com - Offensively, he slices through opposing defenses like a hot knife through butter and has a quick release that often finds the back of the net.
HockeyProspectus.com - An NHL executive told me that his level of talent is matched by his work ethic. MacKinnon will power through checks, grind out board battles, and land big hits. He projects as a forward with defensive value.
Eliteprospects.com - He is an amazing skater with fantastic puckhandling. MacKinnon has the ability to make quick plays and score flashy goals, but isn't shy about battling for the puck in front of the net either. He is surprisingly physical and owns a great shot to go along with quick hands.
Nathan MacKinnon sits as the 2nd ranked North American skater according to NHL Central Scouting. The final rankings came out before the Memorial Cup tournament that featured both MacKinnon, and #1 ranked Seth Jones. For many, that tournament pushed MacKinnon past Jones and into the top spot.
MacKinnon posted a hat trick in the meeting between Halifax and Portland, with one of those goals coming as he rushed by...Seth Jones.
He’s the prize in this draft. A deep draft that goes well into the 1st round and maybe into the 2nd, Nathan MacKinnon is the cream of the crop.
It’s no secret that this is the player I would want the most. If you listen to the show, I’m talking about it obsessively. This is the player the Sabres should be targeting with everything that they’ve got. Find a way.
Could it happen? Well...if Terry Pegula meant what he said when talking about hard work, then they need to find a way to get it done. One NHL executive says (as you see above) his work ethic matches his skill.
Now it’s on the Sabres to match that effort.