Nathan MacKinnon was the first overall selection in the 2013 NHL Draft, which was held June 30, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. He was the Avalanche's first No. 1 overall pick in team history and the fourth in franchise history. MacKinnon had 32 goals and 43 assists (75 points) last season with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and was honored as MVP of the Canadian Hockey League's Memorial Cup tournament. He recently talked with ColoradoAvalanche.com about being drafted and getting ready for the upcoming season.
Q: What are your biggest goals going into training camp and then the start of the season?
A: My biggest goal is to make the team, and then I just want to contribute as much as I can. There are tons of great players on the team, but I want to help as much as I can and as soon as possible.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do in the offseason?
A: I like hanging out on the lake, ride Sea-Doos and I board a little bit. I went 4-wheeling for the first time this summer, but I’m a nature guy for sure.
Q: Where did you go 4-wheeling?
A: It was just kind of in the middle of nowhere, just some trails. It’s called Porters Lake up in Nova Scotia [Canada].
Q: What is your favorite hockey stick?
A: The CCM RBZ.
Q: What do you think will be the hardest part about adjusting to life in professional hockey?
A: I think the travel and how busy I will be. I think it’s going to be very exciting, especially my first year. I think I will be able to manage it pretty well, and I think it’s going to be a great year.
Q: Have you had a chance to see any of the sights in Denver? What do you like about it so far?
A: Obviously, the mountains kind of surrounding the city is pretty special. It’s a beautiful city. It’s fairly hot here in the summer as well, and the snow doesn’t stay long. I've also heard that the golfing’s great, so hopefully I’ll get out on the course sometime.
Q: What is your favorite pregame meal?
A: Just spaghetti and tomato sauce. Pretty simple.
Q: What is your favorite TV show?
A: Prison Break. It’s still my favorite.
Q: What would you tell young kids who have dreams of playing professional hockey?
A: There’s going to be some bumps on the road, but stick with it. The journey is the best part, I think. Obviously, playing in the NHL is great, but the journey is the fun part so just enjoy the ride.