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

Monday, 07.01.2013 / 6:55 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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

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.

Quote of the Day

We're buyers. We're committed to winning. That's what [owner Vinnie Viola] has said all along and what we've said all along. We want to win. We want to win a championship. We're putting the pieces together, step by step, and we're hopeful that Jaromir can lead these young guys to the promised land. It's a win-win for us.

— Panthers GM Dale Tallon on Jaromir Jagr, who he traded for from the Devils on Thursday
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