Aug 19, 2013, 9:43 PM EST
There’s no doubt that Nathan MacKinnon will face some scrutiny next season. It comes with being the No. 1 pick of any draft.
Still, the Colorado Avalanche present a relatively cozy situation for a player who won’t turn 18 until Sept. 1.
New head coach Patrick Roy announced that MacKinnon will probably begin the 2013-14 season as a third-line center with Steve Downie and Tyler McGinn. That represents a nice compromise between keeping his workload reasonable and giving him an opportunity to succeed (both Downie and McGinn boast some genuine talent, plus they’re entering contract years).
There’s plenty of talent to go around if Colorado opts to move him higher in the lineup or jumble the combinations, too.
Earlier this month, Duchene told the Metro News that MacKinnon’s success is likely a matter of when, not if.
“There’s no question he’ll be a superstar, the timeline has yet to be determined,” Duchene said. “But he’s still a little raw, like any 17-year-old would be.”
Roy raved about his speed and emphasized that MacKinnon merely needs to “have fun” during his first season in the NHL, so the organization seems willing to allow their potential star of the future to mature.
More Avs day fun
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- TGIF: Why Lightning fans can be upset with St. Louis 21
- Goalie nods: Luongo’s first game back with Panthers, Neuvirth makes Sabres debut 7
- Report: Kuznetsov terminated KHL deal, headed to Washington 20
- Canucks’ Bieksa: ‘If this isn’t rock bottom, I don’t know what is’ 34
- Luongo has Twitter fun at Canucks’ expense 34
- Sabres spoil Callahan’s Lightning debut, Stamkos’ return 7
- Dealing with the Devils: NHL reverses Kovalchuk punishment 47
- Playoff bubble watch — Rangers edition 14
- Video: Emotional day for Martin St. Louis ends in OT loss for Rangers 27
- Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers (93)
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Sabres send Miller, Ott to Blues for package including Halak, Stewart (74)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Report: Canucks want center, top prospect and first-rounder for Kesler (68)