One of the knocks against the Colorado drafting Nathan MacKinnon was that the Avalanche weren’t hurting for another center, but coach Patrick Roy thinks he has a solution for that potential logjam, based on a Denver Post report.
Roy plans to shift Ryan O’Reilly from center to the left wing so that he can play on a line with P.A. Parenteau and Matt Duchene. That will free up the third line center gig for Nathan MacKinnon. He’ll be flanked by Jamie McGinn and Steve Downie.
In the long run, MacKinnon is projected to develop into a top line forward, but Roy is looking to ease him into the NHL.
“It wouldn’t matter where I play,” MacKinnon said. “I just would do whatever it takes to help the team.”
There will also be a line of Paul Stastny, Gabriel Landeskog, and the recently acquired Alex Tanguay.
One of the big question mark is whether or not O’Reilly can make the adjustment to playing on the wing. We will probably see these lines change meaningfully once the season gets underway, but it does give us an early glimpse into how Roy sees everyone fitting together.