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Avalanche coach Roy just wants No. 1 pick MacKinnon ‘to have fun’

Jul 2, 2013, 9:21 AM EDT

2013 NHL Draft Getty Images

It’s so predictable, the pressure that accompanies being the No. 1 overall pick in the NHL Draft.

Nathan MacKinnon knew that going into Sunday. He knows that two days after his name was called by the Colorado Avalanche.

Of course, only adding to that is the fact he comes from the same town – Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia – as NHL sensation Sidney Crosby, and the Avalanche have missed the playoffs three straight seasons.

But rather than heap even more expectations on his newest young-star-in-the-making, Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy is trying to ease the pressure off MacKinnon just a little bit.

“I want him to have fun,” Roy told the Associated Press.

“There’s going to be enough pressure on him anyway. I know he’s going to deal well with it. At the same time, it’s important for him to feel comfortable.

“We need to give him time to adapt and just feel comfortable.”

The addition of MacKinnon already has Roy formulating line combinations, more than two months before training camp gets underway.

It appears, very early on, that MacKinnon could occupy the third-line center spot with Colorado.

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