MacKinnon scored his second goal of the World Cup in thrilling fashion on Wednesday, propelling Team North America to a 4-3 overtime victory over Team Sweden.
MacKinnon found himself all alone in the slot with the puck on his stick with less than a minute remaining in overtime and made no mistake. The speedy Cole Harbour native flashed some seriously silky mitts in tight against Henrik Lundqvist, deking him out with a toe drag before backhanding the winner up and under the bar. The 2013 first-overall pick now has three points and 15 shots on goal in three World Cup games thus far.
MacKinnon received a qualifying offer from the Avs in late June, with team executive vice president and general manager Joe Sakic saying Friday, "Signing Nathan to a long-term contract was a priority this offseason. He is going to be a key part of our team for many years to come and it was important to secure his rights moving forward." MacKinnon's 2015-16 campaign was cut short by 10 games due to a left MCL sprain, but he still managed to produce 52 points (21 goals, 31 assists) over the course of the season. Just 20 years old, MacKinnon is a power-play dynamo who should fly off draft boards this fall.
Despite missing the final 10 games of the Avs' season with a left MCL sprain, MacKinnon remains in the team's plans for the future, as the qualifying offer means they'll have a chance to match any offer he sees once free agency opens. MacKinnon was on his way to a career-year prior to the injury, finishing 72 games with 21 goals and 31 assists, but it appears he'll likely have at least another year with the Avalanche to increase those numbers. At just 20 years old, MacKinnon has a bright future, making him a high priority for the Avs to retain.
McKinnon's knee injury was revealed as a left MCL sprain, The Denver Post reports.
This is the injury that McKinnon suffered back on March 18 against the Flames that forced him to miss the remaining 10 games of the regular season. The knee injury may force Nathan MacKinnon to miss the world championships in May but he should be ready to go by the start of training camp in September.
There was no indication that return would come Thursday after skipping the last eight contests, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that this is the case. Considering the