Saturday, March 1, 2014

Not your every day NHLer

Colorado Avalanche rookie sensation Nathan MacKinnon continues to show why he was the number one selection in the 2013 National Hockey League draft. With his two assists in last nights game against the Phoenix Coyotes he is now on an active 10 game point streak. The last NHL rookie to achieve such a feat was Jonathan Toews in 2007.

Obviously the first thing you notice when watching a game that MacKinnon is playing in is that he is fast. okay, maybe that is not true, the kid is lightning on ice. But that alone is not enough to be great in the NHL. We have seen many players in the past who could skate, or who were fast, and still didn't cut it in the big leagues. Kyle Cumisky comes to mind as a recent example.

Right now MacKinnon is a sponge. He is absorbing, learning, growing, and expanding his game every single day. You can actually see it happening. Each game he has been better then the last ever since about 12 games into the season.

When he was drafted most people probably like myself just knew that he could score goals, and that he could skate ok. But what I am seeing more and more that has been overlooked by some is the way that he sees the game. The pass in last nights game to set up Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog was a thing of beauty. He flys deep into the zone on the left side of the ice, then stops on a dime and somehow sees Landeskog coming in way late on the play. He sends the pass back across the ice and right onto the blade of Gabes stick for the goal.

This kid has a shot at being something very special in the NHL. Don't forget about him in the future, or you will be down 3-0 against the Avalanche and not even know how it happened.

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