Welcome |Account|Sign Out 
NEW! SIGN IN WITH YOUR SOCIAL PROFILE
OR
Username or EmailPassword
 
SHARE
Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final

No. 1 pick Nathan MacKinnon eager to help turn around Colorado Avalanche

Monday, 07.01.2013 / 6:55 PM / News

The Canadian Press

DENVER - Growing up, Nathan MacKinnon admired the game of his idol, Sidney Crosby. He even had posters on his wall of the Pittsburgh star.

Now, the 17-year-old MacKinnon gets to carve out his own identity after he was the first pick of the draft by the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

Much like Crosby eight years ago, MacKinnon will be counted on to turn around a franchise, one that finished last in the Western Conference in 2012-13 and missed the playoffs for a third straight season.

No pressure, MacKinnon insisted.

To ease MacKinnon's transition into the NHL, new Colorado coach Patrick Roy has already decided he's going to pair the rookie on the third line with Jamie McGinn and Steve Downie. That way, MacKinnon can be mentored by the veteran players.

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery