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MacKinnon, Drouin lead Halifax past Jones’ team to win Memorial Cup

May 26, 2013, 10:50 PM EDT


If you put a lot of stock in the 2013 Memorial Cup, then the upcoming draft’s top forwards made a strong argument for the Colorado Avalanche’s No. 1 pick.

Central Scouting’s second-highest (Nathan MacKinnon) and third-highest (Jonathan Drouin) ranked prospects dominated as their Halifax Mooseheads beat top-ranked prospect Seth Jones’ Portland Winterhawks 6-4 to win the Memorial Cup on Sunday.

MacKinnon seemed to rise to the occasion in particular against Portland in this tournament. He had a hat trick in both contests to go along with two assists tonight and one helper in their last meeting. Drouin “only” scored one goal in the first game, but he was stellar as well on Sunday, collecting five assists.

Jones settled for a goal in each game.

Who knows how much this span of contests will impact the viewpoints of the Avalanche’s scouts and the rest of the NHL, but if nothing else, MacKinnon and Drouin have something to tease Jones about when they’re posing for awkward draft photos.

(Photo via the Memorial Cup Web site.)

  1. atwatercrushesokoye - May 26, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    Jones grew up in Denver and is a bigger position of need for the Avalanche since they already have good depth at center, it seems like a slam dunk, MacKinnon probably solidified himself as the second pick though.

    • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 26, 2013 at 11:06 PM

      Draft for need isn’t as smart as drafting the best player, every time I read “if anyone else was drafting 1st overall, they might take MacKinnon” that just tells me that the Avs should be too.

      Who cares where Jones grew up, and who cares if the Avs need a Dman. They needed a Dman when they foolishly traded for Erik Johnson. A trade that that Blues used to get Ty Rattie. Ya the Avs need a Dman, badly, trade for one, keep drafting them, but don’t spend 1st overall on anyone but the best player and the safest pick.
      Both are Nathan MacKinnon.

      • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 26, 2013 at 11:10 PM

        I know another thing too, you go over to the Florida Panther boards, and their fans (ya they have fans) they all to a man are hoping that the Avs take Jones so they can get MacKinnon. Everyone is so hung up on the Denver connection they can’t seem to get past the fact that the best player in the draft is Nathan MacKinnon.

      • bcisleman - May 26, 2013 at 11:17 PM

        Precisely NO ONE I have read is saying that another team would take MacKinnon. Jones has been pretty muh a consensus #1 all along. Almost nobody has said anything different and likely the few that are did so to be different.

        MacKinnon and Jones are comparable talents. Avs have to assess this for themselves and also consider their needs. Teams can talk BPA all they want, but they ALL look at need.

        As for Johnson, you obviously haven’t paid a lot of attention to how Stewart is playing (or not) for the Blues.

      • bcisleman - May 26, 2013 at 11:21 PM

        Of course Florida fans want MacKinnon. Have you looked at their offensive stats? Hardly evidence that Mackinnon is a better prospect.

      • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 26, 2013 at 11:29 PM

        Ok, I’m saying nearly every NHL GM and coach is taking MacKinnon 1st overall, and maybe even the Avs, and it’s the right call. Only this Avs connection and need is the arguments for Jones over MacKinnon.

        Does anyone actually think MacKinnon will bust? He’s gotta be the least likely to bust player in this draft to bust because, hey, he’s the best player in the draft.

      • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 26, 2013 at 11:33 PM

        What are you talking about Jones being consensus #1? MacKinnon has been #1 for two years. Only because Mackinnon played on a 3rd line for the Canadian Juniors, and Jones played 1st line D for team USA, and Jones got to shine did things change. MacKinnon was #1 right until that point. MacKinnon played 3rd line on a great team full of kids 1-2-3 years older than him.
        MacKinnon is a year young than Jones and still a better player.

      • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 26, 2013 at 11:35 PM

        And I don’t care how Stewart is playing for the Blues, Erik Johnson sucks, and the Blues got Ty Rattie out of the deal and he will be the best player out of everyone involved.

        The Blues got Rattie, they won, even if Chris Stewart blows him knee out tomorrow and never plays again.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - May 27, 2013 at 12:29 AM

        Sorry but at some point you have to draft for need especially when the talent is comparable, Jones and MacKinnon are comparable. The Avs aren’t drafting 30th and don’t have the luxury of drafting the best player available and hoping in a few years he develops.

        Look at Edmonton, they’ve drafted 3 years in a row for BPA instead of last year taking the comparable defenseman, now they’ve got a bunch of undersized forwards and huge holes on defense and in goal, it’s debateable as to whether they’ll be able to keep them all together long enough to fill all of the other holes and become a contender.

        Colorado has 3 very good young centers, and next to nothing on defense, if they draft MacKinnon (without trading 1 of the centers) than they’re insane.

      • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 27, 2013 at 12:34 AM

        They will have 1st and 2nd round picks for years to come where they can draft D. Take the safest pick 1st overall.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - May 27, 2013 at 12:43 AM

        The only way taking MacKinnon makes sense is if they trade either Stastny or Duchene for a top pairing defenseman, unless they do that they’re taking Jones.

      • lordfletcher - May 27, 2013 at 12:50 PM


        I don’t disagree with a lot of your points but Jones has been the #1 prospect since January, per TSN / THN / CSS / ISS, etc. … so that’s pretty much everyone…

        Also, stop saying that Mackinnon is the better prospect. It’s apples to oranges at this point. 1a / 1b.

        You are no scout, stop playing one online.

      • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 27, 2013 at 4:51 PM

        Who are you to tell anyone what the can or cannot say on the internet? Go pissoff somewhere internet pig.

      • jovocop2112 - May 27, 2013 at 11:33 PM

        Because drafting the best overall player instead of drafting for need has done wonders for the Oilers…

    • desertfan - May 26, 2013 at 11:57 PM

      One is a number 1 overall and SJ is a high first rounder!!!!

      • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 27, 2013 at 12:16 AM

        I want whatever this guy is smoking

  2. bcisleman - May 26, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    As to the point of this article, I am guessing the Avs made their choice weeks if not months ago. It is doubtful that this or the previous meeting in the tourney had any effect on the Avs’ decision.

    • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 26, 2013 at 11:38 PM

      You really think the Blues made their choice months ago? Joe Sakic and Roy just joined the team recently, and they are calling the shots. They may have been leaning as an organisation, but they watched the Memorial Cup, and it’s going to factor into the decision they make. I think this is very simple, Sakic and Roy are going to sit down and talk at length about who to take and then inform the Avs GM who they decide on. It’s gotta be a toss up at this point. Who knows who they will decide on?

      • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 26, 2013 at 11:39 PM

        Blues=Avs, sorry

  3. tcclark - May 26, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    Drouin was a beast tonight. People will look at the goals that were scored tonight (by MacKinnon mostly), but I prefer to look at the passes that led to those goals. Every pass was on the tape. Whether it was from two feet away, in traffic, or across the ice. Every pass hit the tape. The kid plays the game 3 steps ahead of everyone else. He knows where his teammates are going to be before they do. The cross ice pass, out of the reach of Jones, on the Frk goal was spectacular. If the Lightning draft this kid, he and Stamkos will terrorize the NHL for the foreseeable future.

    • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 26, 2013 at 11:38 PM

      And when I say Blues, I mean Avs.

      • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 26, 2013 at 11:40 PM

        Sorry man, wrong reply, but ya, Maaaaaaaan Drouin can thread a pass what?

    • leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - May 27, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      Unfortunately(at least on paper), we seem to be very high on Nichushkin. Yzerman also seems to love Russian players and ignoring mock drafts/popular opinion on who he should take, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Drouin is sitting there and we pass on him.

      Personally I’d prefer Seth Jones, I’m still very high on him and we’re also in huge need of another defenseman. Our farm system is overloaded with quality forwards but doesn’t have a lot of defensive depth, and with Vinny’s contract tying us up financially I don’t see free agency being a viable option to acquire another quality d-man anytime soon. With all that said, I really don’t think you can go wrong with any of the top 3 and I’ll be pretty frustrated if we pass on whoever is left of Jones/MacKinnon/Drouin.

      • tcclark - May 27, 2013 at 9:17 PM

        Just keep drafting BPA. You can always trade forward prospects for defensemen. Van Riemsdyk for Schenn for example.

  4. desertfan - May 26, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    No way any team could pass on Nathan!!!

    Jones and Drouin are nice but???

  5. desertfan - May 26, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    If I was Tampa I would work a deal ( ala Burkie) to get 2and 3 and let Avs take SJ #1.

    Can you imagine 22 and 27 together in TB???

    • tcclark - May 27, 2013 at 12:08 AM

      they trading Stamkos? Cause that’s the only way i see that happening

      • atwatercrushesokoye - May 27, 2013 at 12:48 AM

        And if they even consider trading Stamkos for one of these two then the entire hockey operations department should be fired on the spot. Drouin and MacKinnon (and Jones) are nothing but potential, they could become first line players or they could become Pavel Brendl. Stamkos is a genuine franchise player who has done it for 4 years in the NHL already. You’re draft MacKinnon or Drouin hoping they become Steve Stamkos.

      • tcclark - May 27, 2013 at 11:07 AM

        Besides, while MacKinnon is obviously very talented, chances are Stamkos and Drouin will be even better than MacKinnon and Drouin.

    • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 27, 2013 at 12:17 AM

      If i was the Panthers I’d be thinking the same thing.
      How do we get 3rd overall from the Lightning and keep Drouin and MacKinnon together?

  6. nothanksimdriving123 - May 27, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    Gotta thank the NHL Network for cutting away from the kids celebrating to their always thrilling studio set with two people talking. What hockey fan wouldn’t rather see two people chatting than a bunch of excited players celebrating the biggest victory of their lives?
    Yes, it was great they showed the game at all, but their judgment about when to show arena action vs studio is absolutely dismal.

  7. valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 27, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    We’ve had discussions here about how great players are able to step up their game when the chips are down. McKinnon just proved that, again. When drafting to build a team this is an undeniable fact, and an attribute you need to consider when selecting the best overall player. First overall with two players dead even, then you draft on immediate need. A d man takes a little longer to develop, and for that reason the Avs should take McKinnon. Offense depth is never a bad thing as demonstrated by the Pens, and it’s easier for a coach to teach a player how to play D unless that player is just plain not willing to learn.

  8. dolphanindallas - May 27, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    As the only Panther’s fan on this board in my opinion Jones or McKinnon make sense. Not only is Jones a special talent that would most likely line up next to Gudbransson or Kulikov, but he has the appeal to spark interest in the south Florida community by putting people back into the seats on the BBT Center. However, I choose McKinnon just because the guy can score and quite possibly put wins in the column for the cats.
    As far as trade fodder for the number 3 pick to keep Drouin and McKinnon together in a Sedin-est type trade I would give up Howdon, the 2nd round this year, and the first next year. With Petrovic, Shore, Bjustad ready to roll in the league I would give up some picks if Tallon was ever thinking of sacking up for the 3rd pick in Drouin.

    • lordfletcher - May 27, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      Bjustad is terrible, just wait. Life time gopher fan, you will be disappointed.

      He will be a #3 or 4 C. He can’t score frequently and generates little on his own. He is a man child but plays a 5’8 game with less skill and speed.

      I wish / hope he proves me wrong because I am a fan, but the hype on him is laughable. He was the 5th best skater on the Gophers this year, and the only drafted in the 1st round. The best was a 7th rounder for the Wild in Haula.

      Cheers / Ski-U-Mah

      • dolphanindallas - May 27, 2013 at 1:35 PM

        Although I do agree with your current analysis of Bjustad. I would rather a Victor Kozlov type which he seems to
        on a third line then a forth line checking forward Howdan looks like he has become.i take more stock in Bjustad than Howdan at this point, and would use him as trade fodder for a strategy to take the3rd pick considering his draft pedigree. I do doubt though Tallon trades either of them.

      • lordfletcher - May 27, 2013 at 8:18 PM

        The problem is, he doesn’t have that much trade value. I don’t think many clubs would offer a 2nd for him.

        The 3rd overall pick will be a HEFTY price tag. We are talking years of 1st round picks and top prospects and or a quality top 6 / 4 skater. If Florida were to make a move for the 3rd (which I think is impossible, Drouin in Tampa is a perfect fit to replace St. Louis), they would have to send the next two or three years of 1st rounders, plus who knows what.

      • tcclark - May 27, 2013 at 9:24 PM

        Yeah that 3rd pick will be a massive price tag… especially in division. You’d be looking at Gubransson or Huberdeau, a mid level prospect, and at least another 1st.

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