Leading up to the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in New Jersey, we’ll be profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Sunday in the first round. Nothing too in-depth. Just enough so you know who they are and what they’re about.
Nathan MacKinnon (C)
Height: 6’0 Weight: 182 Shoots: Right
Team: Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 2 among North American skaters
What kind of player is he?
MacKinnon was raised close to where Sidney Crosby grew up in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia and he’s been compared to the Penguins superstar for years. If the Avalanche aren’t bluffing and they go through with their plan to draft MacKinnon he might serve as a third-line center in his first season, but make no mistake, MacKinnon is a potential franchise player.
He’s fast, has a great shot, and the tools to develop into top scorer. He’s also demonstrated that he can handle pressure at a young age, given the immense hype and expectations that have been surrounding him throughout his QMJHL career.
Further evidence of his ability to rise under pressure can be found in his performance during the 2013 Memorial Cup. He had a tournament-high seven goals and 13 points in just four games.
“A total package of skill, speed and power. He can play a lot of different styles, a power or finesse game, equally well. He’s such a gamer, a guy who gets better when there’s a big moment.” — Mooseheads coach Ducharme (courtesy of the Denver Post)
For more 2013 NHL Draft Previews, click here.