Never mind Patrick Roy for a minute. Nathan MacKinnon was pro ready in his NHL debut for the Colorado Avalanche last evening at the Pepsi Center. This summer’s 1st overall draft choice tallied 2 assists, helping his team win 6-1 over the Anaheim Ducks, who were far and away the second best team on the ice last night. Watch MacKinnon’s first NHL point here.
It’s always impressive when an 18 year old kid steps into the league and competes immediately with significantly more experienced, fully developed adults. Based on last night’s performance against the Ducks, Nate is one of those kids.
As with all young rookies, MacKinnon’s all round game will improve and adapt as he plays more games and learns more lessons – something all kids his age must sort out over time. However, one serious advantage Nate has over other young players is his elite skill level, an asset that can carry him very far throughout his National Hockey League career over the next two decades.
MacKinnon showed off his toughness when he got into a roughing scuffle with Ducks defenceman Ben Lovejoy in the 2nd period (watch scrum), while the score was getting out of hand. The beef didn’t end there between the Ducks defender and Avs’ new hope. With 30 seconds left in the 3rd period, the game’s winner a long foregone conclusion, Ben Lovejoy clipped MacKinnon at the Avalanche blue line. MacKinnon did not appear to be injured on the play. Watch the hit here.
The preceding scrum involving Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy and the Anaheim Ducks bench after the final whistle was a direct result of the hit on MacKinnon. If you haven’t heard about the scrum or watched it yet, check out this YouTube clip.