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2014 NHL Draft
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Colorado Avalanche take centre Nathan MacKinnon first overall in NHL draft

Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 3:15 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Colorado Avalanche take centre Nathan MacKinnon first overall in NHL draft

NEWARK, N.J. - The Colorado Avalanche have taken centre Nathan MacKinnon with the first pick of the 2013 NHL draft.

The Avs, who won the draft lottery over the Florida Panthers, were true to their word Sunday at the Prudential Center. They had said they would pick MacKinnon over defenceman Seth Jones.

Jones, ranked No. 1 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, has ties to Colorado. He took up hockey as a kid there while his father, Popeye Jones, was playing for the NBA's Denver Nuggets.

Colorado said it liked Jones, but wanted to draft a forward.

The six-foot, 182-pound MacKinnon, who does not turn 18 until Sept. 1, led the Mooseheads to the Memorial Cup.

He topped the tournament in scoring with 13 points (seven goals and six assists), including a hat trick in the championship game, and was chosen tournament MVP.

The native of Coal Harbour, N.S., scored 32 goals and added 43 assists in 44 regular season games.

"What makes Nathan stand out is that he has a real quickness with his read and react: his hockey sense, how he sees the ice and his vision," said Dan Marr, director of NHL Central Scouting. "That is something special in a player. He is continuing to physically mature, but already he’s got a lot of grit in his game and he is a competitive player."

Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp