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MacKinnon 'would love to play for' Roy, Avalanche

by Mike G. Morreale

TORONTO -- Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon finally can take a deep breath -- at least for 24 hours.

There's no telling what's next for the 17-year-old, who undoubtedly will be traveling to meet with several NHL teams for personal examinations and interviews now that his part in the 2013 NHL Scouting Combine is complete.

"I don't know if I'm living the dream yet because I'm not in the NHL, but [this week has] been fun," MacKinnon said. "It's been busy for sure. I've had a lot of requests and demands, but obviously I wouldn't trade it for anything. I had a lot of fun this year, and this was just another step toward the draft."


MacKinnon said he would be honored if the Colorado Avalanche selected him No. 1 at the 2013 NHL Draft on June 30. He said playing for new Colorado coach Patrick Roy, who was hired last week, would be a good experience.

"He'd be a great person to develop under," MacKinnon said of Roy. "He has a very competitive nature and I think I have that, too, so I think it'd go really well. He wants to win and I'd love to play for him. It'd be great."

It was an incredible season for MacKinnon, No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top draft-eligible North American skaters. He finished the regular season with 32 goals, 75 points and a plus-40 rating in 44 games. In 17 playoff games, he had 11 goals and 33 points to help lead Halifax to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League title. He then won the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as the most valuable player in the Memorial Cup after connecting for seven goals and 13 points in four games.

In two games at the Memorial Cup against the Portland Winterhawks and No. 1-ranked North American prospect Seth Jones, MacKinnon had six goals and nine points. He scored a hat trick and added two assists during a 6-4 victory against Portland in the final.

MacKinnon was asked what separates him from many of the other top prospects eligible for the draft, to be held at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

"I don't want to get into that kind of stuff," he said. "There are a ton of good players in this draft and I would like to think that I'm one of them, but at the same time everybody has their own strengths, especially the three of us [including Jones and teammate Jonathan Drouin]. I don't know how much separates each other, but everybody had their own strengths."


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