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Roy raves about MacKinnon’s speed

Jul 16, 2013, 9:33 PM EDT

mackinnonwithroysakic Getty Images

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.

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