Nathan MacKinnon
Nathan MacKinnon
24-Year-Old CenterC
Colorado Avalanche
2019 Fantasy Outlook
MacKinnon has mastered the art of weaving through traffic to fill the cage with pucks. Last year, Colorado's show-stopping pivot fired a franchise-best 365 shots, culminating in 41 goals to complement 58 assists en route to becoming just the second player in team history to reach the 90-plus-point plateau in back-to-back seasons. Hall of Famer Peter Forsberg is the charter member of that exclusive club, which is a true testament to MacKinnon's elite status. The speedster, who's in the thick of his prime, reached new heights offensively in the 2018-19 campaign. Since then, more than 35 percent of his points have come via the power play, where the Nova Scotian has formed an unbreakable bond with Mikko Rantanen and captain Gabriel Landeskog. A shoulder injury MacKinnon sustained in the 2019 postseason did not require surgery, so he'll remain a can't-miss fantasy pick once the perennial league-leaders are chosen. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a seven-year, $44.1 million contract extension with the Avalanche in July of 2016.
One of each Monday
CColorado Avalanche
October 14, 2019
MacKinnon scored an empty-net goal and supplied an assist in Monday's 6-3 win over the Capitals.
MacKinnon also went plus-2 with two shots on goal in the lopsided win, which saw the Avalanche stake a 4-0 lead within the first 10 minutes. The star center has a five-game point streak to start the year, recording two goals and six helpers with 18 shots.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
While MacKinnon posted promising showings in his first four campaigns, he truly cashed in on the talent that made him the No.1 overall pick in 2013 for the first time last season, racking up 39 goals and 58 assists. Still just 22 years old and on a team-friendly deal through 2022-23, MacKinnon has all of the tools and the talent surrounding him on the Avalanche's top line to rank among the league's elite again in 2018-19. Considering he dressed for just 74 games last season, topping 100 points for the first time in his career isn't out of the question skating beside Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog.
It’s easy to overlook him after Colorado's dreadful season, but MacKinnon is still one of the game’s most exciting young players. The 2013 first overall pick earned the second best point total of his career (53) last year despite scoring on a career-low 6.4 percent of his shots, and he’s already racked up 206 points in four seasons before his 22nd birthday. MacKinnon also thrived in the 2017 IIHF World Championship, leading Team Canada to a silver medal finish with six goals and nine assists in 10 games. The talent is undoubtedly there, but taking the next step into elite territory will be difficult without better play from his teammates.
MacKinnon may very well have hit 60 points for the second time in his early career, but a MCL sprain cut his season short and left him at 21 tallies and 31 assists to go along with 245 shots on goal. Colorado had seen enough from the 2013-14 Calder Trophy winner to deem him worth retaining for the long haul, as he was signed to a seven-year contract worth $44.1 million in the offseason. The 20-year-old has his best hockey ahead of him and he could blossom into one of the most potent power-play attackers in the NHL (seven goals and nine helpers this past campaign). The first overall pick of 2013 is licking his chops for the upcoming year next to Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog, and the Avs offense is not to be overlooked. It wouldn’t be surprising to see MacKinnon flirt with 60-plus again. The extension – and rising draft stock – is warranted and could reward owners who pounce.
MacKinnon had a season to forget in 2014-15, managing just 14 goals and 38 points in 64 games. Call it the dreaded sophomore slump or whatever fits your fancy, but MacKinnon just couldn’t find consistency last year, going through frequent scoring slumps and flat-out disappearing some nights. We wouldn’t be too worried, however, as MacKinnon was still scoring at a more than half-point-per-game clip as a 19-year-old. In fact, he looked on track to dig himself out of last season's rut after tallying five goals in his final five games, before suffering a season-ending foot injury in March. Now back to 100 percent in advance of 2015-16, the youngster is locked into a top-six role in Colorado and will continue to see plenty of power-play time to aid his bounce-back effort. The former Calder Trophy winner has just 146 career NHL games under his belt, so it's likely we're still a few years away from even seeing his peak. Have him on your radar, as the memory of last season's disappointing numbers will likely reduce his draft stock in the minds of less savvy fantasy owners and create a nice buy-low window.
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.
More Fantasy News
Two points in win
CColorado Avalanche
October 10, 2019
MacKinnon scored a power-play goal and added a helper in Thursday's 4-2 win over the Bruins.
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Dishes out two helpers
CColorado Avalanche
October 6, 2019
MacKinnon had two assists and three shots on goal in Colorado's 4-2 win over the Wild on Saturday.
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Won't require surgery
CColorado Avalanche
May 14, 2019
MacKinnon won't need to undergo surgery on his injured shoulder, Mike Chambers of The Denver Post reports.
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Back in action
CColorado Avalanche
May 8, 2019
MacKinnon returned to the bench after he left Wednesday's game due to a shoulder injury, Mike Chambers of The Denver Post reports.
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Leaves Game 7
CColorado Avalanche
May 8, 2019
Mackinnon left Wednesday's series-deciding game due to a shoulder injury and is currently being evaluated in the Avalanche locker room, Pierre LeBrun of TSN reports.
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