Nathan MacKinnon
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Nathan MacKinnon

Nathan MacKinnon
Nathan MacKinnon playing with the Avalanche in 2020 (Quintin Soloviev).jpg
MacKinnon with the Colorado Avalanche in 2020
Born (1995-09-01) September 1, 1995 (age 25)
Springhill, Nova Scotia, Canada
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Right
NHL team Colorado Avalanche
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 1st overall, 2013
Colorado Avalanche
Playing career 2013–present

Nathan Raymond MacKinnon (born September 1, 1995) is a Canadian professional ice hockey centre and alternate captain of the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL). MacKinnon was selected first overall by the Avalanche in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.[1] Sometimes referred to as "Nate the Great", he is considered one of the most talented players in the league.[2][3]

Playing career

Early life

MacKinnon was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and grew up playing in the minor ice hockey system of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.[4][5] As an atom aged player, MacKinnon recorded 200 points in 50 games.[6] When MacKinnon was 12 and 13, he played Bantam AAA for the Cole Harbour Red Wings, recording seasons of 110 and 145 points, respectively.[6] After these two seasons, MacKinnon enrolled at Shattuck-Saint Mary's in Faribault, Minnesota.[7] MacKinnon chose to leave his hometown and attend the Minnesota boarding school because of the strength of its ice hockey program.[7] In his first season at Shattuck-Saint Mary's playing with the Bantam Tier I program, he scored 101 points in 58 games to finish second in team scoring.[8] For the 2010-11 season, MacKinnon joined the under-16 Midget program at the school. Despite being the team's second-youngest player, MacKinnon was averaging more than two points a game and was second in team scoring at the midway point of the season.[6] During the season, MacKinnon was named to the team that represented Nova Scotia in the ice hockey tournament at the 2011 Canada Winter Games.[9] At the tournament, MacKinnon scored eight goals and eleven points to finish fourth in tournament scoring as Nova Scotia finished in seventh place.[10] MacKinnon finished his second season at Shattuck-Saint Mary's with 93 points in 40 games played, and was second on the team with 45 goals scored.[11]

MacKinnon played with the Halifax Mooseheads for two years during his major junior career


Heading into the 2011 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) Draft, MacKinnon was widely regarded as the favourite to be selected first overall and was ranked by QMJHL Central Scouting as the best available player.[12] Despite this, MacKinnon spent the day of the draft skating with the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League (USHL), as he was considering playing either college ice hockey in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) or major junior ice hockey in the QMJHL.[13] On June 4, 2011, MacKinnon was selected first overall by the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in the 2011 QMJHL Draft.[14] Because MacKinnon did not speak French, there was speculation that he would follow through with his option to play in the USHL until he was eligible for the NCAA, unless his rights were traded to a different QMJHL team.[15] On July 13, 2011, MacKinnon's rights were traded to the Halifax Mooseheads for Carl Gélinas, Francis Turbide, the Mooseheads' first round draft picks in 2012 and 2013 and the Quebec Remparts' first round draft pick in 2013, previously acquired by Halifax.[16] The Mooseheads had been attempting to acquire MacKinnon since Baie-Comeau was awarded the first overall pick in the 2011 draft.[17] MacKinnon scored his first QMJHL hat-trick on December 3, 2011, scoring five goals in a 6-4 victory over the Quebec Remparts.[18] In a league of 18- and 19-year-olds, MacKinnon was only 16 when he accomplished this. The opposing coach for the Remparts was his future coach with the Colorado Avalanche, NHL Hall of Famer Patrick Roy. With five goals in one game, he tied the Mooseheads record for the most goals in a single game held by Jason King.[19]

On May 26, 2013, MacKinnon led the Mooseheads to their first Memorial Cup championship. He was also named Most Valuable Player, scoring a tournament-best seven goals and six assists in four games, and earned a spot on the Tournament All-Star Team

On June 24, 2013, leading up to the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, head coach Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche, who owned the first overall selection, stated publicly that his team would select MacKinnon if the draft were held then, despite widespread speculation that the team was likely to select defenceman Seth Jones, who grew up in Denver, Colorado.[20] "It would be tough for us not to take MacKinnon," Roy told ESPN The Magazine. Roy also refused to rule out trading the pick.[21] On June 26, 2013, Avalanche Director of Amateur Scouting Richard Pracey said during a conference call that the team had MacKinnon in their sights. "As of today, we're leaning on Nathan MacKinnon," Pracey said.[22] On June 30, 2013, the Avalanche did indeed use their first overall pick in the draft to select MacKinnon.[23]


Colorado Avalanche

MacKinnon during his rookie season with the Colorado Avalanche

MacKinnon was signed to his first NHL contract, a three-year entry level deal, with the Avalanche on July 9, 2013.[24] MacKinnon made his NHL debut to begin the 2013-14 season on October 2, 2013, becoming the youngest hockey player to ever dress in a regular season game for the Colorado Avalanche franchise, registering two assists in a 6-1 victory over the visiting Anaheim Ducks.[25] MacKinnon scored his first NHL goal October 12, 2013, against Michal Neuvirth of the Washington Capitals during the second period at the Verizon Center.[26]

During the season MacKinnon's role increased, as he was placed on the top two offensive lines. He claimed his first NHL record in becoming the youngest player to record back-to-back two-goal games from January 4-6, 2014, beating Dale Hawerchuk's of the original Winnipeg Jets from 1981. MacKinnon later compiled a 13-game point streak from January 25, to March 6, surpassing Wayne Gretzky (who turned 19 during his first season) to have the longest scoring streak by an 18-year-old in NHL history.[27] MacKinnon finished the regular season appearing in all 82 games and led all rookies with 24 goals and 39 assists for 63 points. MacKinnon became just the third player in the NHL to record seven points in his first two playoff games with a goal and six assists in the first two contests against the Minnesota Wild in the opening round of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs. On June 24, 2014, MacKinnon won the Calder Memorial Trophy for the rookie of the year, becoming the youngest player to ever win this trophy and third in Avalanche history behind Chris Drury and Gabriel Landeskog.[28] He was subsequently selected to the NHL All-Rookie Team.

MacKinnon with the Avalanche in November 2014

MacKinnon recorded his first career NHL hat trick on February 22, 2015 in a 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. He is the youngest player in Avalanche history to record a hat trick.[29]

On July 8, 2016, MacKinnon as a restricted free agent re-signed with the Avalanche, agreeing to a seven-year, $44.1 million contract that averages $6.3 million per season.[30] Later in the offseason, on October 13, 2016, MacKinnon was announced as an alternate captain for the Avalanche.[31]

MacKinnon would play his first NHL All-Star Game on January 10, 2017, as the lone representative of the Colorado Avalanche.[32] He was again selected the following year for the 2018 NHL All-Star Game.[33]

MacKinnon was named the NHL's First Star of the Week for February 26 through March 4, after scoring five goals, six assists, with four power play points, a +6 rating, and 31 shots in four games.[34] This included his second career five-point night (the previous being a goal and four assists against the Capitals earlier in the season, on November 16, 2017), with MacKinnon scoring two goals and adding three helpers in a 7-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on March 2.[34] On April 26, 2018, MacKinnon was nominated for the Ted Lindsay Award as the NHL's most outstanding player.[35] The following day he was named a Hart Memorial Trophy finalist as the NHL's most valuable player; the award was won by New Jersey Devils' forward Taylor Hall.

On September 11, 2020, MacKinnon won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the "player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability." [36][37]

International play

Medal record
Representing  Canada
World Championships
Gold medal - first place
Silver medal - second place

MacKinnon's first experience with Hockey Canada came when he was named to the Canada Atlantic team for the 2011 World U-17 Hockey Challenge in Winnipeg, Manitoba.[38] Despite being the second-youngest player at the tournament, MacKinnon scored five goals and eight points in only five games to finish seventh in tournament scoring.[6][39] This included a game in which he scored two goals and two assists to be named player of the game as Canada Atlantic defeated Finland 4-3.[40] His impressive play helped Canada Atlantic to its best finish since the 2005 World U-17 Hockey Challenge, defeating Canada West 2-1 in the fifth place game.[41] The following year, MacKinnon was named to the Canada Atlantic team for the 2012 World U-17 Hockey Challenge in Windsor, Ontario.[42]

On December 13, 2012, MacKinnon was named a member of team Canada for the 2013 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships along with Mooseheads teammate Jonathan Drouin.[43]

At the 2015 World Championships, where Canada won the gold medal for the first time since 2007 with a perfect 10-0 record, MacKinnon finished the tournament with 4 goals and 5 assists.[44]

MacKinnon was a member of Team North America for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. He played on the third line alongside Johnny Gaudreau and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

MacKinnon was selected to play for Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship, where he placed first in team points to help Canada win a silver medal.[45]

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2007-08 Cole Harbour Wings Bantam AAA 50 -- -- 110 -- -- -- -- -- --
2008-09 Cole Harbour Wings Bantam AAA 35 -- -- 145 -- -- -- -- -- --
2009-10 Shattuck-Saint Mary's Bantam AAA 58 54 47 101 56 -- -- -- -- --
2010-11 Shattuck-Saint Mary's Midget AAA 40 45 48 93 72 -- -- -- -- --
2011-12 Halifax Mooseheads QMJHL 58 31 47 78 45 17 13 15 28 12
2012-13 Halifax Mooseheads QMJHL 44 32 43 75 45 17 11 22 33 12
2013-14 Colorado Avalanche NHL 82 24 39 63 26 7 2 8 10 4
2014-15 Colorado Avalanche NHL 64 14 24 38 34 -- -- -- -- --
2015-16 Colorado Avalanche NHL 72 21 31 52 20 -- -- -- -- --
2016-17 Colorado Avalanche NHL 82 16 37 53 16 -- -- -- -- --
2017-18 Colorado Avalanche NHL 74 39 58 97 55 6 3 3 6 4
2018-19 Colorado Avalanche NHL 82 41 58 99 34 12 6 7 13 2
2019-20 Colorado Avalanche NHL 69 35 58 93 12 15 9 16 25 12
2020-21 Colorado Avalanche NHL 48 20 45 65 37 10 8 7 15 2
NHL totals 573 210 350 560 234 50 28 41 69 24


Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2011 Canada Atlantic U17 5th 5 5 3 8 0
2012 Canada Atlantic U17 7th 5 1 3 4 2
2012 Canada IH18 1st 5 5 6 11 18
2013 Canada WJC 4th 6 0 1 1 4
2014 Canada WC 5th 8 1 3 4 8
2015 Canada WC 1st place, gold medalist(s) 10 4 5 9 6
2016 Team North America WCH 5th 3 2 1 3 2
2017 Canada WC 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 10 6 9 15 6
Junior totals 21 11 13 24 24
Senior totals 31 13 18 31 22

Awards and honours

Acting career

MacKinnon has appeared in a recurring role (along with former Halifax Mooseheads teammate Cameron Critchlow) on the Canadian television show Mr. D, playing a fictionalized version of himself. He first appeared in season 2 episode 4, when he and a teammate have to leave an exam early to play in a school hockey game. When the teammates tell Mr. D (portrayed by Gerry Dee) that they did not finish the exam, he tells them to take it home and return it completed the next day.[49] In season 3 episode 7, he is in detention for missing too much school to play hockey. Mr. D is oblivious to his talent and reprimands him ("Hockey's not a job"), although it is implied that, in the show's timeline, that this takes place prior to the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, where MacKinnon was drafted first overall, despite airing in 2014. In season 4 episode 11, MacKinnon returns to give tickets to an Avalanche game to the school principal. When Mr. D enters the room a moment later, he calls MacKinnon "Mr. Calder" and tells him that he always believed in him. When Mr. D. asks for tickets to a game, MacKinnon tells him that all the games, including those in exhibition and the following season, are sold out.[50]

MacKinnon has also appeared as himself in Trailer Park Boys, season 11 episode 7 at Ricky's ball hockey camp.[51] In 2019, he appeared in Trailer Park Boys: The Animated Series season 1 episode 3, again portraying himself.

He, along with fellow Nova Scotian and NHL player and a good friend of Mackinnon's Sidney Crosby, have appeared in a series of Tim Hortons commercials produced for YouTube.[52] During his career, MacKinnon has turned to Crosby for inspiration, including the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs.[53]


  1. ^ Sadowski, Rick (March 14, 2014). "Avalanche's MacKinnon taking success in stride". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2014.
  2. ^ "'Nate the Great' the difference once again as Avalanche take Game 4 -". Retrieved 2021.
  3. ^ "Why Nathan MacKinnon is the best hockey player in the world". August 20, 2020. Retrieved 2021.
  4. ^ Joyce, Gare (February 25, 2010). "Nate the kid". ESPN The Magazine. pp. 52-53. Retrieved 2011.
  5. ^ Nathan MacKinnon scores overtime winner for Avalanche in 3-2 win over Flames
  6. ^ a b c d Penton, Kirk (January 2, 2011). "The next Next One?". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2011.
  7. ^ a b McDonald, Alyssa (January 2, 2011). "Crosby comparisons: MacKinnon brings offence to U17s". Hockey Canada. Retrieved 2011.
  8. ^ "2009-2010 Boys Bantam Tier I stats". Shattuck-Saint Mary's. Archived from the original on December 20, 2010. Retrieved 2011.
  9. ^ "Canada Winter Games". Hockey Nova Scotia. Retrieved 2011.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Standings/statistics - 2011 Canada Winter Games". Hockey Canada. Retrieved 2011.
  11. ^ "2010-2011 Boys U16 Stats". Shattuck-Saint Mary's. Archived from the original on August 17, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  12. ^ Wuest, Matthew (May 1, 2011). "MacKinnon tops QMJHL draft ranking". Metro Halifax. Retrieved 2011.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ Sager, Neate (June 4, 2011). "QMJHL: Nathan MacKinnon skates in Omaha on draft day". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2011.
  14. ^ "Baie-Comeau takes Cole Harbour's Nathan MacKinnon first in QMJHL draft". National Hockey League. June 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  15. ^ Walling, Alex (July 23, 2011). "Walling: MacKinnon the second coming of Sid the Kid?". The Sports Network. Retrieved 2011.
  16. ^ "Mooseheads acquire top draft pick MacKinnon from Drakkar". The Sports Network. July 19, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  17. ^ Wuest, Matthew (April 7, 2011). "Russell quick to contact Drakkar after coin flip". Metro Halifax. Retrieved 2011.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ Palov, Willy (December 4, 2011). "5-goal game for Moose rookie". The Chronicle Herald. Retrieved 2011.
  19. ^ Sager, Neate (December 4, 2011). "Saturday's 3 Stars: Nathan MacKinnon makes some memories for Mooseheads by making mincemeat of Remparts". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2011.
  20. ^ Sager, Neate (June 19, 2013). "Colorado Avalanche pass on Seth Jones, will take a forward". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2013.
  21. ^ Staff (June 25, 2013). "ROY: MACKINNON WOULD BE SELECTION IF DRAFT WAS HELD NOW". The Sports Network. Archived from the original on December 31, 2013. Retrieved 2015.
  22. ^ Staff (June 27, 2013). "AVALANCHE REITERATE THEY HAVE F MACKINNON IN THEIR SIGHTS". The Sports Network. Archived from the original on December 5, 2013. Retrieved 2015.
  23. ^ The Canadian Press (June 30, 2013). "Avs pick MacKinnon first overall in NHL draft". Sportsnet. Retrieved 2013.
  24. ^ The Canadian Press (July 9, 2013). "Avs sign first-overall pick to entry-level deal". The Sports Network. Archived from the original on December 12, 2013. Retrieved 2015.
  25. ^ "Avs' MacKinnon gets 2 points in rout of Ducks". Sportsnet. Associated Press. October 3, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  26. ^ "Nathan MacKinnon scores first NHL goal". October 12, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  27. ^ "Nathan MacKinnon extends streak, break Wayne Gretzky's record". CBS Sports. March 7, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  28. ^ "Avalanche's Nathan MacKinnon wins Calder Trophy". National Hockey League. June 24, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  29. ^ Chambers, Mike (February 22, 2015). "Nathan MacKinnon scores hat trick as Avs top Lightning". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2015.
  30. ^ "Avs sign MacKinnon to seven-year, $44.1M deal". July 8, 2016. Retrieved 2018.
  31. ^ "Avs Name Alternate Captains For 2016-17 Season". Colorado Avalanche. October 16, 2016.
  32. ^ Frei, Terri (January 10, 2017). "Nathan MacKinnon named Colorado Avalanche rep at NHL All-Star Game". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2018.
  33. ^ "MacKinnon Selected To NHL All-Star Game". January 5, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  34. ^ a b "MacKinnon leads 3 Stars of the Week". March 5, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  35. ^ Amadon, Brett (April 26, 2018). "Ted Lindsay finalists unveiled". Retrieved 2018.
  36. ^ "Hart Trophy finalists unveiled". April 27, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  37. ^ Rosen, Dan. "Hall honored to become first Devils player to win Hart Trophy". Retrieved 2018.
  38. ^ "Team Atlantic Announced for 2011 World Under 17 Challenge". Hockey Nova Scotia. November 24, 2010. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  39. ^ "Statistics/standings - 2011 World Under-17 Challenge - Individual player stats". Hockey Canada. Retrieved 2011.
  40. ^ Nicholson, Matthew (December 31, 2010). "MacKinnon's four points lead Atlantic to first win". Hockey Canada. Retrieved 2011.
  41. ^ Nicholson, Matthew (January 3, 2011). "Atlantic earns best finish since '05 with win over West". Hockey Canada. Retrieved 2011.
  42. ^ "Team Atlantic male U17 official roster announced". Hockey New Brunswick. November 23, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  43. ^ "Team Canada heading overseas with lockout questions looming". The Sports Network. December 14, 2012. Retrieved 2013.
  44. ^ "Canada's National Men's Team wins gold medal at 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship". Hockey Canada. May 17, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  45. ^ Hossain, Asif (May 21, 2017). "Canada strikes silver following Sweden shootout at IIHF worlds". Retrieved 2018.
  46. ^ Memorial Cup All-Star Teams Archived January 7, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  47. ^ "Avalanche's MacKinnon wins Calder Trophy". June 24, 2014.
  48. ^ Kimelman, Adam (December 27, 2018). "McDavid, Ovechkin, Matthews, MacKinnon voted NHL All-Star captains". Retrieved 2019.
  49. ^ Willy Palov (August 9, 2012). "Mooseheads called to the show". The Chronicle Herald.
  50. ^ "Hockey boys return". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. April 2, 2015.
  51. ^ Boulding, Ryan (March 30, 2017). "MacKinnon To Cameo in Trailer Park Boys". Retrieved 2018.
  52. ^ Pearson, Heidi (September 24, 2015). "Sidney Crosby, Nathan Mackinnon serve up a cup of joe in new Tim Hortons commercial". Halifax. Retrieved 2018.
  53. ^ "How a text from Crosby helped MacKinnon dominate the playoffs -".

External links

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