Most eighteen year olds are finishing up high school, going through their first year of college, joining the Military, or like me, writing blogs for fun. You don’t often hear about an eighteen year old tied for the lead in the NHL playoffs in points. Nathan MacKinnon is doing this for the Colorado Avalanche. MacKinnon, who is struggling to grow his playoff beard, is doing his team one better by putting up 10 points so far this playoff against the Minnesota Wild, (2 goals, 8 assist). His electric speed, smooth hands, and ability to create plays, makes you think to yourself, "Has Gretzky made a comeback," from the way he is playing right now. This so called "kid" is going to win the Calder Memorial Trophy, for rookie of the year but he has another trophy on his mind, the Stanley Cup. He is chasing the ring because every eighteen needs a little bling.
The youngster from Nova Scotia, Canada, was drafted number one overall in the 2013 draft by Colorado, this wasn’t the first time he was drafted number one. MacKinnon has been a buzz worthy candidate in the hockey world for a while now. In the two years at the private high school, Shattuck-Saint Mary in Faribault Minnesota, MacKinnon put up 194 points in just ninety-eight games. The sixteen-year-old all-star’s next step was the QMJHL (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League). In 2011 MacKinnon was drafted first over all, as a sixteen year old, in a league that was filled with some of the best eighteen and nineteen year olds in the world. In his second year with the Halifax, Mooseheads, in the QMJHL, he led them to the Memorial Cup finals. In the finals MacKinnon met up with his, now head coach Patrick Roy, who was then the head coach of the Québec Remparts. In that championship game he put up a hat trick on his way to the Memorial Cup MVP. No wonder Roy took MacKinnon as the first overall pick, he didn’t want to play against his greatest ever again.
The Rookie’s magical play has continued this post-season, as he has emerged as one of the hardest players to defend for the Minnesota Wild. If you missed it you can look back on game two in the series when Mackinnon made Wild defenseman, Jared Spurgeon, look like a peewee defender. MacKinnon side stepped Spurgeon and made him fall on his backside to score his first career, playoff goal. 10 points and counting for this beauty and remember he is just 18…
The kid has a gift. The boy has the talent. The man is growing up in the playoffs. History is made in the playoffs and MacKinnon is on his way to be something special. His beard my not be thick but the kid is magical with his stick. Watch him to continue to shine in the playoffs as the Avs chase another Stanley Cup. He may not be the "Great One" but he is "MacKinnon the Monster."
Although I am a huge Minnesota Wild fan; get ready to watch some of MacKinnon’s magic Wednesday night in game 7. The series has been great so far. Who will prevail, the young kid and the Colorado Avalanche or the star power of Parise for the Minnesota Wild?