Jul 16, 2013, 9:33 PM EST
In the most literal way, the Colorado Avalanche don’t expect Nathan MacKinnon to lag behind NHL skaters once he makes his debut.
New head coach Patrick Roy gushed about the 17-year-old’s speed.
“People are going to be very surprised by his speed, especially his starts, the 1-2-3, he’s really fast,” Roy said. “He’s one of the fastest guys I’ve seen. He’s has that NHL skating ability, no doubt in my mind.”
Team executive Joe Sakic agrees, saying he’ll be one of the fastest skaters in the league right away. Both Sakic and Roy also believe that he’s ready for an immediate jump.
Roy, in particular, got an idea of the talent displayed by the No.1 overall pick by coaching against him in the QMJHL.
“I know he is ready, I’ve seen him play enough,” Roy said. “But we’ll have to be patient at the start, give him a chance to adapt – I’m not going to compare junior to the NHL – just give him the time to feel good.”
The Avs clearly feel pretty good about him, already.
- Leafs scoring slump hits historical low 11
- Video: Rangers’ Lundqvist takes puck to the neck 3
- Zamboni driver arrested for DUI, allegedly cleaned ice surface while drunk 13
- Mike Richards trying to make the best of being sent to the AHL 9
- Price leads Habs past Caps with second straight shutout 8
- Report: Rob Blake would be Brendan Shanahan’s first choice to replace Dave Nonis 5
- Bettman would be ‘kicking and screaming’ before NHL jerseys have ads 27
- Comparing the records of all 30 teams in the last two months 61
- Lightning ride Paquette’s first hat trick to Atlantic lead 8
- Price wins goalie duel vs. Lundqvist as Habs edge Rangers 4