Look out: MacKinnon described as stronger, more explosive

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Unlike many other rookies, Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon seemed physically ready for the big-time in 2013-14. At minimum, he boasted top-of-the-line speed, something that Patrick Roy raved about before he played a single shift.

Considering how strong a finish MacKinnon enjoyed last season, opponents probably crossed their fingers for a so-called “sophomore slump.” That’s always possible, but word is that he’s (gulp) in even more impressive shape heading into next season.

More explosive than this? Yikes:

Also:

Here’s your requisite offseason story disclaimer: it’s wise to take such reports with a grain of salt. “Bigger, stronger” can sometimes mean putting on too much weight. There’s always the risk that working so hard on offseason training may increase injury risks.

Still, the bigger picture view is still promising. The MacKinnon – Sidney Crosby parallels can get obnoxious at times, yet if the 19-year-old is as driven as the veteran Pittsburgh Penguins star, then the Avalanche have a right to be extra excited.