Junior team: Halifax (QMJHL)
Born: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Measurables: 6-foot, 182 pounds
2012-13 stats: 44 games, 32 goals, 43 assists, 75 points
Central Scouting rank: No. 2 (North America)
Lowdown: It’s not a bad thing to be compared to Sidney Crosby. Hockey’s premier player was born in Halifax, played junior hockey there and became an NHL franchise player. MacKinnon mirrors Crosby on the first two, and there’s little reason to think he won’t join him for the final piece of the trifecta. The center can do it all, primarily because of his skating. No one in the draft has MacKinnon’s explosiveness. A stride or two is all he needs to separate himself from the opponents. Once free, he has sniper ability and magnificent passing vision. He may not become Crosby, but he should become the best player on his NHL team in a relatively short period of time.
MacKinnon leaped to No. 1 on many draft boards after leading Halifax to the Memorial Cup title. He made a mockery of his competition in the junior playoffs, recording 11 goals and 33 points in 17 postseason contests. He scored three times in the championship game with scouts watching every move.
MacKinnon doesn’t turn 18 until Sept. 1 and would have had to wait until the 2014 draft if he was born two weeks later. With a maturity beyond his years, he’ll be at or near the top of the 2013 selection process.
He said it: “I’m pretty interested in some of the teams I could end up with. Obviously, anything can happen on draft day. Teams could decide to trade their picks or anything like that, but it’s human nature to be interested in that kind of stuff, what your future could be.” – MacKinnon.
The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL draft June 30.
taggedNHL Entry Draft