Sitting on top of the NHL’s playoff scoring parade on the last day of August was centre Nathan Mackinnon of the Colorado Avalanche with seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points in 12 games. What made the numbers even more impressive was the fact MacKinnon’s consistency has shone through as he had recorded at least one point in all 12 games.
He’s also set and tied some Avalanche club records along the way in the postseason such as three points in a period, four points in a series-winning game and most consecutive games with a point from the start of a playoff season. The 24-year-old has now appeared in 37 career NHL games and has produced 18 goals and 32 assists for 50 points with a plus-22 rating and five game-winners. His 12-game point streak to start this postseason eclipsed the old team mark of 10 set by Joe Sakic in 1995/96.
He’s been producing in the postseason all through his career though as MacKinnon racked up 61 points in 34 games as a junior with the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and added seven goals and 13 points in four Memorial Cup contests. This isn’t to say he doesn’t chip in during the regular season because he certainly does.
In 525 career games he stands at 190 goals and 305 assists for 495 points. He also has a plus-39 rating, 56 power-play markers and 39 game-winners. In the last three seasons, MacKinnon’s points totals were 97, 99 and 93 for 289 in 225 outings. His 99 points this season resulted in being named as a finalist for the Hart Trophy as the player deemed most valuable to his team.
The Avalanche chose MacKinnon first overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and was named the league’s rookie of the year for 2013/14 when he notched 29 goals and 63 points in 82 games with a plus-20 rating. He was the youngest player ever in franchise history to step on the ice in an NHL contest and earned a pair of assists in his debut.
And since he hails from Springhill, Nova Scotia, which is close to Cole Harbour where Sidney Crosby was born there has always been comparisons with the Pittsburgh Penguins’ star. With MacKinnon growing up and playing minor hockey in the Cole Harbour community he’s a friend of Crosby’s and also lists him as his mentor.
MacKinnon is used to winning, be it the QMJHL title, Memorial Cup, or World Championships, but for all of his heroics, the Avalanche are unlikely to get past the Dallas Stars in the second round of this year’s playoffs as they trailed 3-1 in the best-of-seven series. MacKinnon has certainly been doing his job, but the team’s secondary scoring has dried up since downing the Arizona Coyotes in five games in the first round.
On the bright side, if the Avalanche is eliminated this round MacKinnon has an interesting hobby to fall back on during his down time as he’s been dabbling in acting. He’s appeared several times in the past on the Canadian comedy shows “Mr. D” and “Trailer Park Boys” and has filmed a series of commercials with his buddy Crosby for Tim Hortons restaurants.
But if MacKinnon’s teammates can lift their game to his level, they’ll be able to come back against Dallas and continue their 2019/20 postseason journey.
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