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MacKinnon: Duchene ‘very confident’ about Avalanche

Jul 26, 2013, 11:05 PM EDT

2013 NHL Draft Getty Images

Two members entrusted with helping bring the Colorado Avalanche back to prominence in the National Hockey League skated together this week.

Nathan MacKinnon, who the Avalanche took with the first overall pick in last month’s draft, and Matt Duchene skated at the Halifax Civic Centre this week, alongside another NHL star, Sidney Crosby.

Duchene is only 22 years of age but has been with the Avalanche since 2009, when the team drafted him with the third overall pick in the draft. He also recently re-signed with the Avalanche, with a deal that’s worth $30 million at five years.

MacKinnon is beginning to see the drive and passion Duchene has for the Avalanche, and restoring the winning feeling that was once so common in Denver, during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

“He talks about the organization, his past experiences and what worked, what didn’t; it’s nice to have that,” MacKinnon told The Chronicle Herald about Duchene.

“We get along pretty well. We got to spend some time together.

“He’s so skilled, he’s one of the best players on the team. He leads by example. It’s going to be fun to be his teammate. He obviously loves it there; he just signed a five-year deal. He’s very confident about the team going forward and so am I.”

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