Nate MacKinnon has been a superstar since day one. He sets the standard for centres and has been on the ups as he starts to hit the prime years of his career. From here, MacKinnon can only go up so today, lets look at what can be in store for Nate next season. First let’s look back over the past 7 seasons that Nate has been in the NHL.
Nate came into the league at 18 years ole, bright -eyes and bushy tailed in 2013. His rookie season, MacKinnon played in all 82 games while collecting 24 goals and 39 assists (63 points) while averaging 17:21 on the ice. Nate had 241 shots on goal with a 10.0% shot percentage and a 42.9% face-off win percentage. He had a +20 rating with 45 blocked shots, 57 hits, 51 takeaway, and 28 giveaways.
MacKinnon helped the Avs in the playoffs with 2 goals and 8 assists in 7 playoff games. He averaged 20:34 on the ice per game. Nate won the Calder for his efforts.
In his next four seasons with the Avs, Nate continued to grow as a player. From 2014-2018, he played in 292 regular season games with 90 goals, 150 assists for 240 points and a -14 rating while averaging 19:02 on the ice per game. He had 972 shots on goal with a 9.3% shot percentage and a 47.2% face-off win percentage. Defensively, Nate stepped up his game with 183 hits, 146 blocked shots, 156 takeaways and 163 giveaways.
The Avs saw playoffs once more after their 2017-2018 where Nate saw 6 games with 3 goals and 3 assists while averaging 21:38 on the ice per game.
This season, MacKinnon played in all 82 games, even though he sustained a foot injury over the All-Star break, he kept in the game. He scored 41 goals with 58 assists for 99 points and a +20 rating. Nate had 365 shots on net and settles with a 11.2% shot percentage. He averaged 22:05 on the ice with a 43.8% face-off win percentage. He also blocked 31 shots, laid out 54 hits, had 48 takeaways, and 64 giveaways. He had a corsi for percentage of 53.2%, the highest he’s had in his career.
This season, the Avalanche pushed further into playoffs. MacKinnon played in 12 games with 6 goals and 7 assists with 3 game winning goals. He averaged 23:43 on the ice and a face-off win percentage of 44.0%, with 8 blocked shots, 15 hits, 7 takeaways, and 11 giveaways.
After such an astounding season, both Nate and the Avalanche are going to be a deadly force. The team made major moves this season to try and grow (I’ll miss you forever Tyson Barrie) but their hardest worker is going to be MacKinnon once more. He led the team last season in goals, assists, points, plus/minus, shots, and point shares (11.8). I expect him to be up there once more this season.
MacKinnon will probably play in all 82 games (should he remain healthy) and score around 45 goals with 65 assists for 110 points. It’ll be the first time that he’ll hit 100 points within a season but I know that he can do it. He’s a wildly talented player that is leading the league in many ways.
There is a bright future ahead for Nathan MacKinnon as he just hits the beginning of his prime seasons. The Avalanche are lucky to have a player like him, combined with the talents of Mikko Rantanen (should he re-sign his contract), Gabriel Landeskog, Carl Soderberg, and J.T. Compher.
This upcoming season is going to be MacKinnon’s best yet.
Featured Image: Jim Mone/ Associated Press