Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has been named the Central Division's captain for the 2019 NHL All-Star Game, the league announced today following the NHL All-Star Fan Vote. MacKinnon will make his third straight appearance at the mid-season classic when the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Game is held on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the SAP Center in San Jose, California (6 p.m. MT, NBC). MacKinnon will also participate in the SAP NHL All-Star Skills event the night before on Friday, Jan. 25 (7 p.m. MT, NBCSN).
MacKinnon, 23, will be the first Avalanche player to serve as an All-Star Game captain since Joe Sakic captained the Western Conference team at the 2007 event in Dallas. He is the first Colorado player to be selected to three straight All-Star Games since Rob Blake from 2001-02 to 2003-04.
MacKinnon ranks third in league scoring with 56 points (22g/34a) in 37 games. The Halifax, Nova Scotia, native is tied for fifth in assists and tied for ninth in goals, making him the only NHL player to rank among the top 10 in all three scoring categories. He leads the NHL in shots (163), ranks third in points-per-game (1.51) and shares the league lead with 18 multi-point games. The 6-foot, 205-pound center ranks second in the NHL in both road points (14-17=31) and even-strength scoring (17-20=37), and leads the Avalanche in average ice time (21:59).
The first overall selection in the 2013 NHL Draft, MacKinnon was named the NHL's Second Star for the month of November. He tied for the league lead with 23 points (9g/14a) in 14 games last month, equaling the Avalanche record for scoring in November (Peter Forsberg, 1995-96). He scored his 20th goal of the season on Dec. 8 at Tampa Bay, matching Sakic's 1995-96 Avalanche record for the fewest team games (30) to reach 20 goals. MacKinnon scored a goal in each of his first six contests, establishing a franchise record for the longest goal streak to begin a season, and tallied points in each of his first nine games, tying the Avalanche record for the longest point streak to start a season.
MacKinnon and teammate Mikko Rantanen ranked second and first, respectively, in league scoring for 31 consecutive days from Nov. 21 to Dec. 22. They were the fifth set of teammates since 1981-82 to be the first NHL players to hit 50 points in a season, joining Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby (2008-09), Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr (1995-96), Wayne Gretzky and Glenn Anderson (1985-86) and Gretzky and Jari Kurri (1983-84).
Now in his sixth NHL season, MacKinnon has tallied 359 points (136g/223a) in 411 career contests. He was named a finalist for the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award and was selected to the NHL Second All-Star Team after finishing fifth in league scoring with a career-high 97 points (39g/58a) in 74 games last season. He won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's rookie of the year in 2013-14, the youngest player to ever win the award (18 years, 224 days).
The 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend will once again consist of a three-game tournament, played in a 3-on-3 format, featuring four teams - one for each NHL division. Each team will be made up of 11 players from the respective division: six forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders.