Skip to content

Avs keep expectations in check regarding MacKinnon

Aug 19, 2013, 9:43 PM EDT

nathanmackinnongetty Getty Images

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.

He’s also joining a roster full of guys who can relate to his situation, as Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog aren’t far removed from rookie campaigns themselves.

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

Varlamov enters pivotal season

The defense won’t help him

Center could be an area of strength

Latest Posts
  1. Quick hits: Habs, Price get a little revenge vs. Rangers

    Oct 26, 2014, 12:54 AM EDT

    Carey Price, AP

    Jumping around a busy Saturday night.

  2. Penguins shut down Neal, Preds

    Oct 25, 2014, 11:11 PM EDT

    Paul Gaustad, Marc-Andre Fleury AP

    Patric Hornqvist didn’t star, but grabbed an assist.

  3. Defense optional: Islanders take thriller against Stars

    Oct 25, 2014, 10:09 PM EDT

    Kevin Connauton, Dan Ellis, Josh Bailey AP

    Maybe the headline should read goaltending optional instead?

  4. Bruins cruise against Bernier, Leafs

    Oct 25, 2014, 9:35 PM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Islanders Getty Images

    Dougie Hamilton’s had a strong night.

  5. Vlasic: ‘No, there’s nothing wrong with the Sharks’

    Oct 25, 2014, 8:38 PM EDT

    San Jose Sharks v Arizona Coyotes Getty Images

    Things didn’t look particularly “right” on Saturday.

  6. Will winning trump revenge tonight?

    Oct 25, 2014, 6:57 PM EDT

    Brian Boyle Carey Price AP

    Habs face Chris Kreider, David Backes vs. Brent Seabrook on Saturday.

  7. Neal ready to get first game vs. Penguins since trade ‘over with’

    Oct 25, 2014, 6:26 PM EDT

    Chicago Blackhawks v Nashville Predators Getty Images

    Patric Hornqvist plays in Nashville as a visitor for the first time.

  8. Trotman and Morrow era set to begin in Boston

    Oct 25, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

    ZachTrotman AP

    The rookie defensmen were recalled Friday.

  9. Blackhawks and Blues renew their Central Division rivalry

    Oct 25, 2014, 4:02 PM EDT

    Ken Hitchcock Getty Images

    A rematch of last spring’s playoff series.

  10. Jackets’ Atkinson reveals damage

    Oct 25, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    atkinson

    Suffered a skate cut to his right eyelid Friday night.

  11. Goalie nods: Gustavsson gets his second start

    Oct 25, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    jonasgustavssonap AP

    Antti Raanta and Brian Elliott go head-to-head as the Blackhawks and Blues battle in St. Louis.

  12. Ottawa tragedy ‘hit home’ for Bruins’ Julien

    Oct 25, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    Claude Julien AP

    The coach was quick to call home following Wednesday’s practice.

  13. Price downplays start as Canadiens host Rangers

    Oct 25, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

    Carey Price AP

    The Habs’ starter was injured in Game 1 of last spring’s Eastern Conference final against New York.

Featured video

Caps' 'culture change' proving positive

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. J. Spezza (3116)
  2. E. Staal (2642)
  3. C. Crawford (2641)
  4. P. Stastny (2562)
  5. E. Kane (2558)
  1. J. Drouin (2295)
  2. M. Gaborik (2284)
  3. V. Hedman (2178)
  4. P. Datsyuk (1914)
  5. S. Varlamov (1907)