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, submitted his final blog for NHL.com after being selected No. 1 by the Colorado Avalanche at the NHL Draft on June 30 at Prudential Center.
NEWARK, N.J. -- Hello hockey fans! I'm coming to you from the media area at the NHL Draft in Prudential Center.
When the Colorado Avalanche selected me No. 1 overall … it was pure joy for sure.
When my name was announced ... I turned to my dad [Graham] and hugged him a few times. It was an unbelievable time and it's still surreal. I've worked my whole life to get drafted and it crept up pretty quick. It's a very proud moment.
I'm so fortunate that I had such a great family growing up, and I wouldn't be here without them. It's so nice that they're here in New Jersey celebrating this with me.
When I reached the stage, Joe Sakic said he's so excited for this, and said it was going to be a great fit for me. I kind of blacked out for a second. They have such a promising team and such good young talent, and hopefully I can be a part of that.
It will be an exciting time next year, and I think I'll be able to stick in the NHL and contribute as much as I can. I think I'll have a strong impact next year. I want to be more than ready to play. Obviously they have a strong group of veterans, but I definitely don't want to hang out next year and just kind of learn and hang on.
I want to be the best player I can possibly be.
It was a long process to get to this point, but it was definitely worth the wait. There was so much speculation leading into this day, and I really had no idea where I was going to go. Anything can happen and I heard trade talks with [Aleksander] Barkov and [Jonathan Drouin] and [Seth Jones]. It was a pretty unbelievable day, for sure.
People have asked me about Seth going No. 4 to the Nashville Predators and if I was surprised. I think this is such a tight draft. Any four of us could have been No. 1, I think it's pretty safe to say. Seth is a very special player, and he's going to have an unbelievable career in Nashville. I think that's pretty clear.
Thanks for reading my blogs this year everyone. Have a great summer and I'll see you next season!
Follow Nathan MacKinnon on Twitter at: @Mackinnon9