20-Year-Old Center – Colorado Avalanche
Nathan MacKinnon Contract Information:
Signed to a three-year deal by the Avs in July of 2013.
McKinnon's knee injury was revealed as a left MCL sprain, The Denver Post reports.
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Nathan MacKinnon: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
The "Other Kid from Cole Harbour" dazzled in 2013-14, breaking camp with the Avs as an 18-year-old and leading all rookies in goals (24), assists (39), points (63), power-play goals (eight), game-winning goals (five) and shots-on-goal (241). It comes as no surprise, then, that he took home the Calder Trophy by a landslide over Tampa Bay's Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson. MacKinnon also skated to a terrific plus-20 rating, which is particularly impressive considering he often lined up against the opposition's top defenders in the ultra-competitive Central Division. In addition to the exclamation mark that was the Calder Trophy on an already special season, MacK broke Wayne Gretzky's record for the longest consecutive point streak by an 18-year-old with a 13-game, 18-point run in February and March. A natural center, the 2013 No. 1 overall pick spent much of the season on the wing, but that could change come October. Veteran star center Paul Stastny (who racked up 60 points of his own last year) signed a four-year deal with the Blues, leaving a void at the pivot for someone like MacKinnon or Ryan O'Reilly to move back to the middle. With that being said, there's no doubt MacKinnon will have a permanent home in Colorado's top-six, but where and with whom he'll line up with remains unclear, especially with power forward Jarome Iginla entering the mix. Nonetheless, with a strong supporting cast around him, there’s no reason to believe MacKinnon will succumb to the dreaded sophomore slump. Flirting with 70 points is a definite possibility for the teenager.
MacKinnon looks like a sexy draft pick, but his fantasy effectiveness this season will be tied to how quickly his ability adjusts to the NHL level. The lightning-fast center can both score and set up his teammates as he showed last season with the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL ... to the tune of 32 goals and 43 assists in only 44 games. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft will center Jamie McGinn and Steve Downie on the Avalanche's third line, a place where he can be eased into potential stardom.