Nathan MacKinnon - Center – 5-11, 179 - #1 pick 2013? – After his summer blockbuster performance for Team Canada, Nathan MacKinnon is now firmly on the radar of most hockey fans around the world and he recently turned 17.
Last year he weighed in around 168 pounds and now he’s at 179 and I think that’s part of the next step this already talented prospect has made. More muscle means it’s much harder to keep him off the puck.
Last year I took a hockey trip to see him the same way I had to see Sidney Crosby and John Tavares and he didn’t disappoint. My take on this star player is he will end up somewhere in-between the two above mentioned players on the stat sheet when he reaches his peak in the NHL someday. You can’t compare anybody to Crosby. Case in point at Shattuck St. Mary’s Crosby had 162 points in 57 high school games at the age of 15 (2.8 PPG). At the same age MacKinnon racked up 85 points in 34 games (2.5 PPG).
There’s no question that he has top-five ability and I think he will be the top pick next June. He has great vision and he’s an above-average passer. He also can speed through the neutral zone as well as any player I’ve seen in the last decade.
Recently half of the Halifax Mooseheads roster came down with the flu and had to cancel a pre-season game. We wish them all well and I can’t wait to see if MacKinnon (28 pts in 17 games, 1.65 PPG) can go from the 5th highest playoff scorer to #1 this year.