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Nate the Great: Avs take MacKinnon first overall

Jun 30, 2013, 3:11 PM EDT

mackinnongetty Getty Images

All week long, the Colorado Avalanche kept everybody guessing as to who they’d pick first overall at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

On Sunday, the guessing was over.

Colorado selected Nathan MacKinnon with the No. 1 pick, making the Halifax forward the first overall selection from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League since Sidney Crosby in 2005.

MacKinnon, 17, dominated the Quebec league last season before leading Halifax to its first-ever Memorial Cup this year.

The high-scoring center notched 13 points in four games, scored a hat-trick in the final against WHL Portland, and was selected as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player and named to the All-Star Team.

As mentioned, the pick was a bit of crapshoot heading into Sunday. Colorado had sent a number of mixed signals about their plans for the pick, as new head coach Patrick Roy and president Joe Sakic seemed to be throwing up smokescreens.

They publicly cooled on the idea of taking Seth Jones — the Portland defenseman ranked No. 1 by NHL Central Scouting — and also opened up the possibility of trading the pick.

But in the end, MacKinnon proved too special to pass up.

In addition to the Crosby connection from the QMJHL, MacKinnon is also from the same town as Crosby — Coal Harbour, Nova Scotia — and has drawn many comparisons to No. 87 in terms of playing style and scoring ability.

Roy was quite familiar with MacKinnon’s scoring exploits from their time together in Quebec. The new Avs bench boss had previous been behind the bench of the Quebec Remparts, who were knocked out of the 2011-12 QMHJL playoffs by MacKinnon and the Mooseheads.

  1. icelovinbrotha215 - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    So Joe was telling the truth…

  2. jovocop2112 - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Hope he winds up just as excellent as everyone’s said….here’s hoping Jones doesn’t make this a mistake

  3. snak10 - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    Barkov 2nd?!~?!!?!?

  4. hines86for6 - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    so the Lightning will definitely take Jones. never thought Drouin would falls to my Preds. wow

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      Not sure. it would be difficult to pass up Drouin. But, you build championship from behind. So…….. It may be Jones. Either one is a good choice.

      • jernster21 - Jun 30, 2013 at 8:44 PM

        There weren’t any “superstar” defenseman on the 95-96 winning Avalanche. Veteran defenseman, yes, superstars, no.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 30, 2013 at 8:53 PM

        Yes! But from behind includes the goalie, which of course was Roy at the time, a PND besides it doesn’t have to be a superstar D. It has to be solid d core an goalie

    • 19to77 - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:33 PM

      You’d think that, but.

  5. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    This was the only choice. A no brainer unless AVs had a Lindros like deal. Smart move by the AVs.

  6. ray2013 - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    Jones 4th??

  7. hines86for6 - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    wow. The Preds are going to get Seth Jones. good luck scoring on Weber-Jones NHL.

    • chazxcore - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:26 PM

      The Preds can’t score and they are going to add another Dman….

      • jovocop2112 - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:31 PM

        Welp, the Avs can’t keep the puck out and drafted an explosive center

      • snak10 - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:37 PM

        they wont be a fun team to watch…but they’ve proven with their system that with the right pieces, it works…

  8. snak10 - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    Monahan is thinking, “I wish I slipped one more spot…” lol

  9. vstar1us - Jun 30, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Nice pick, as a Wild fan I think the Avs did a great job

  10. c1md6 - Jun 30, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Good move

  11. jhuck92 - Jun 30, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    So MacK went first overall. The Avs need defense in my opinion, and they have plenty of young forwards. I hope passing up on Jones won’t haunt them.

  12. bbk1000 - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:36 AM

    Seth Jones was the best player in this draft…..Tampa’s pick was an absolute joke….what a mistake..

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