It's easy to overlook him after Colorado's dreadful season, but Nathan MacKinnon is still one of the game's most exciting young players. The 2013 first overall pick earned the second best point total of his career (53) last year despite scoring on a career-low 6.4 percent of his shots, and he's already racked up 206 points in four seasons before his 22nd birthday. MacKinnon also thrived in the 2017 IIHF World Championship, leading Team Canada to a silver medal finish with six goals and nine assists in 10 games. The talent is undoubtedly there, but taking the next step into elite territory will be difficult without better play from his teammates.
MacKinnon picked up an assist with a plus-2 rating in Sunday's 3-2 loss against the Blues. MacKinnon wrapped up the season with 17 goals and 53 points while playing all 82 games. He also posted three power-play goals and a career-high 11 assists on the man advantage while also finishing with two shorthanded markers. His work on special teams will be what fantasy owners covet in 2017-18, and hopefully the Avalanche are better so his plus-minus isn't so brutal.
MacKinnon scored a goal and garnered an assist Wednesday in a 5-3 loss to the visiting Capitals. He also fired six shots on net. The 21-year-old has five points over his last four games, which has elevated him to the 50-point plateau for the third time in his four-year career. MacKinnon's minus-15 rating is a personal worst, though that's largely due to the struggles of the Avs as a whole rather than his individual performance, while his 20:00 of average ice time is a full minute more than his previous best.
MacKinnon dished out two helpers Thursday against the Oilers. MacKinnon seemed to have Colorado on pace for a rare win with assists on a pair of goals by Mikko Rantanen, but five unanswered third-period tallies allowed Edmonton to cruise to a 7-4 victory. While the lack of skill around him can be seen in MacKinnon's minus-18 rating, the fourth-year center's 32 assists are the most he's had since accruing 39 as a rookie.
MacKinnon sealed a win over the Hurricanes on Tuesday with an empty-net goal. The speedster sank a wrister from the slot for his 13th goal of the season. MacKinnon leads the hapless Avs with 43 points (13 goals, 30 assists) and has played in all 65 games. Unfortunately, he often needs to convert in the attacking zone himself to avoid a minus rating on any given night. After all, Colorado's hockey club has a putrid minus-89 goal differential.
MacKinnon posted two assists in Saturday's win over the Sabres. It was just the third point in eight games for MacKinnon, who hasn't scored in 11 outings. The 21-year-old has explosive skill, but he's struggled along with the rest of Colorado this season, managing just 12 goals. His 41 points make him worth owning in most leagues, but don't expect him to break out suddenly given the team's place in the standings.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||73||17||31||48||-7||4||3||4||492||506||120.7|