Halifax Mooseheads forward Nathan MacKinnon and Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones, the top two candidates to hear their names called first at the 2013 NHL Draft, made their season debuts Friday night, but had very different levels of success.
MacKinnon, the 6-foot, 182-pound center starting his second season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, scored an overtime power-play goal to help the Mooseheads to a 4-3 road win against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.
MacKinnon drew a tripping penalty on Cape Breton's Jonathan Oligny 51 seconds into the 4-on-4 overtime, and then beat goalie Philippe Trudeau on a one-timer at 1:17 to give Halifax the win after it had surrendered a 3-1 third-period lead.
MacKinnon finished with five shots, a plus-2 rating, and won 21 of 28 faceoffs.
MacKinnon wasn't the only top-rated Halifax draft prospect to have an impact on the game. Goalie Zachary Fucale, rated as an A goaltender in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings, stopped 15 of 18 shots. And left wing Jonathan Drouin, an A-ranked skater, scored Halifax's first goal and added an assist.
On the other side of the continent, things didn't go as well for Jones, who was a minus-1 in the Winterhawks' 5-2 home loss to the Seattle Thunderbirds.