Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has been named the Central Division's captain for the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game, the league announced today following the NHL All-Star Fan Vote. MacKinnon will make his fourth straight appearance at the mid-season classic when the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game is held on Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri (6 p.m. MT, NBC). MacKinnon will also participate in the NHL All-Star Skills event the night before on Friday, Jan. 24 (6 p.m. MT, NBCSN).
This will be the second straight season that MacKinnon, 24, will serve as an All-Star Game captain, the first Avalanche player to be chosen as captain twice. Last year, he became the second Avalanche player to serve as captain, joining Joe Sakic, who captained the Western Conference team at the 2007 contest in Dallas. MacKinnon is the first Colorado player to be selected to four straight All-Star Games since Peter Forsberg, who was selected to six consecutive All-Star Games from 1995-96 through 2000-01.
MacKinnon ranks third in league scoring with 53 points (21g/32a) in 35 games. The Halifax, Nova Scotia, native is tied for fourth in goals (21), ranks sixth in assists (32) and third in points per game (1.51). His 164 shots rank second in the NHL, and MacKinnon led all players with 79 shots in November, which were the most ever by a Colorado player in a calendar month. MacKinnon recorded a career-high 12 shots on Nov. 1 vs. Dallas, tying the single-game franchise record set by Gabriel Landeskog on Jan. 9, 2019 at Calgary. MacKinnon, who led the NHL with a franchise-record 366 shots last season, has a shot in 186 consecutive games, the second longest active streak (Dougie Hamilton, 282).
The first overall selection in the 2013 NHL Draft, MacKinnon was named the NHL's Second Star for the month of November, the third consecutive season he has been named one of the league's stars in November. He ranked second in the league with 25 points (10g/15a) in 14 games last month despite the team missing two of its top producers from last season (Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen) for almost the entire month. MacKinnon's 25 points were a career high for any month and set the franchise record for November. It was the most points by an Avalanche player in a single calendar month since Joe Sakic notched 26 points (15g/11a) in 13 games in March 2000. The 6-foot, 200-pound center collected points in 10 of his 14 contests, including a trio of four-point outings: Nov. 7 vs. Nashville (1g/3a), Nov. 12 at Winnipeg (2g/2a) and Nov. 29 at Chicago (1g/3a). He has combined for 68 points (24g/44a) in 40 November games since 2017, the most of any player.
MacKinnon has scored seven power-play goals this season, tied for sixth in the league. He now has 51 career man-advantage tallies, tied with Valeri Kamensky (51) for seventh place on the franchise's all-time power-play goals list and ranked fourth in Colorado history.
MacKinnon reached the 50-point mark on Dec. 13 vs. New Jersey, accomplishing the feat in 32 games, one fewer than he did it in 2018-19 (52 in 33 GP). He is the second player in Avalanche/Nordiques history to require 33 or fewer games to reach 50 points in consecutive seasons, joining Quebec's Peter Stastny, who did it in three straight campaigns in 1981-82 (31 GP), 1982-83 (29 GP) and 1983-84 (31 GP).
MacKinnon collected a point in each of his first 13 games of the season (8g/10a), the longest point streak to start a campaign in Avalanche history and the fourth longest in franchise history. It was the longest by an NHL player to open a season since Henrik Zetterberg (17 straight) in 2007-08. MacKinnon, who began the 2018-19 campaign with a nine-game point streak, is the fifth player in NHL history to record a season-opening point streak of nine or more games in consecutive seasons, joining Wayne Gretzky (four straight, 1982-86), Charlie Simmer (1979-81), Guy Lafleur (1975-77) and Rod Gilbert (1971-73). He enters tonight's contest against the Chicago Blackhawks on a seven-game point streak (3g/6a), the third stretch of the season in which he has tallied at least a point in seven or more games.
Now in his seventh NHL campaign, MacKinnon has tallied 455 points (176g/279a) in 491 career contests. He set new career highs in goals (41) and points (99) last season, the most points by an Avalanche player since Sakic registered 100 in 2006-07. MacKinnon was named a finalist for the 2018 Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award and was selected to the 2017-18 NHL Second All-Star Team. 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 2020 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.