Nathan MacKinnon is in his second season with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this year. The 6-foot, 182-pound forward has 32 goals, 75 points and a plus-40 rating in 44 regular-season games for the Mooseheads in 2012-13. In 17 playoff games, MacKinnon finished with 11 goals and 33 points to help lead his team to the QMJHL championship. He was then awarded with the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as Memorial Cup MVP after finishing with tournament highs of seven goals and 13 points in four games as Halifax won its first Cup crown. MacKinnon, who served as captain for Team Cherry at the 2013 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and represented Canada at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Russia, has offered to provide NHL.com with a monthly blog leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft in Newark, N.J.
Since attending the Combine, I've kind of just been kicking my feet up after a long season. We went to Europe a couple of times and back over the past few months. It's been a pretty busy season with the Memorial Cup and a lot of games have been played. So it's nice just to get home and rest a little bit.
I found out last week about attending the Stanley Cup Final in Boston. I was actually a little surprised. It wasn't a thing I had been waiting for, it kind of just happened quickly. I heard about it happening in the past, but I wasn't sure if it was going to happen this year. But I'm really glad it did. It's been fun.
We went to see the morning skates early today for both Boston and Chicago. Afterward, we got to go into the dressing room to meet some players. It was cool to see the guys you've been watching every year. Some of them since we were little kids, some of them more recently. I skate with Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins during the offseason, so I talked with him a little bit. Nothing serious, just some small talk.
Watching players practice before the big game, you definitely notice some of their skills. [Patrick] Kane's hands and [Zdeno] Chara's shot, especially. Little things like that are great to see. Both teams have a lot of skill players and are really deep, so it's great to see the morning skate. Obviously, everyone in the NHL is talented, but these guys are the best teams and have been playing some great hockey.
Obviously, the most exciting part will be attending Game 3 in Boston. As far as expectations for the big game, I just want it to be close. That's the only expectation that I have. Blowouts are only good if you're playing in it and not watching it. Hopefully it's a close game like the other two.