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MacKinnon: Empire State Building was a rough trip

by Nathan MacKinnon

Nathan MacKinnon is in his second season with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this year. The 6-foot, 182-pound forward has 32 goals, 75 points and a plus-40 rating in 44 regular-season games for the Mooseheads in 2012-13. In 17 playoff games, MacKinnon finished with 11 goals and 33 points to help lead his team to the QMJHL championship. He was then awarded with the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as Memorial Cup MVP after finishing with tournament highs of seven goals and 13 points in four games as Halifax won its first Cup crown. MacKinnon, who served as captain for Team Cherry at the 2013 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and represented Canada at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Russia, has offered to provide with a monthly blog leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft in Newark, N.J.

NEW YORK -- I arrived in New York and checked into my hotel in Times Square Wednesday afternoon. I'm rooming with Seth Jones and he got in Wednesday night. Jonathan, Seth, and Darnell Nurse and I have been hanging out together since then. We're all good buddies, and so far we've seen a good chunk of the city.

This morning we were fortune enough to go to the Yankee game and watch six innings. It was my first time going to a Major League Baseball game and we had great seats right behind first base. They recognized us and put us on the Jumbotron, which was very cool. I was pretty pumped to be a part of that.

After the game we had a long drive over to the Empire State Building. I'm pretty scared of heights and I thought we were going to be inside a room, but it turned out we were outside with only a few metal bars separating us from the edge. That took some getting used to.

We have a lot of media stuff and cool things coming up before Sunday. It's nice, because that way we don't have to sit around the hotel thinking about the draft. It's been a great year, but it's good to finally be in the home stretch. Our families arrived earlier today, so I think tonight we'll be splitting up and going out to dinner.

Obviously I'm really looking forward to Sunday. A few days ago I woke up to texts from my friends saying that the Avalanche may pick me first, but I don't want to get my hopes up too high or get too caught up in that stuff because a lot can change in a few days. It would be an honor to get picked first, but I think we all realize that it's just the start of our careers, and we'll be the same players coming out of the draft as we were going in.

I'm really excited to get my career started on Sunday, but there's one other thing I'm excited for, too. Jonathan Drouin and I play NHL13 all the time, so it's going to be pretty cool to see myself in NHL14. I'll probably play be-a-pro mode as myself and try to have some good years.

Follow Nathan MacKinnon on Twitter at: @MacKinnon9

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