Saturday, November 30, 2019

Nathan MacKinnon Jersey Card

There are two undeniable and irreplaceable forwards in the NHL "MVP" conversation: Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid, because he's simply the best player in the world in this generation, and Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche, who is proving that he doesn't need his fellow stars Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen not only to produce points, but also wins for his team.

The 24-year-old has 16 goals, 23 assists and 39 points in 25 games this season, 16 of them without Rantanen, 14 without Landeskog.

The Avs currently sit third in the Central Division with 32 standing points, one behind the Winnipeg Jets with a game in hand, and tied with the Dallas Stars with two games in hand.

When he was drafted first overall, it was widely believed the Avalanche would instead opt for hometown kid Seth Jones (now a #1 defenseman in his own right and perhaps eventual Norris Trophy winner), but head coach and VP of Hockey Operations Patrick Roy - who had just coached against MacKinnon and the Halifax Mooseheads in the LHJMQ - insisted the Avalanche select MacKinnon instead; Jones fell to fourth, behind Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Drouin. Because Drouin and MacKinnon were teammates, it was widely believed they complemented one another to a point where if they were to be separated, perhaps they would be less productive.

Nowadays, not only have those fears dissipated, but most of that strong draft year's top-20 currently plays a high-profile role in the NHL, as Elias Lindholm (5th), Sean Monahan (6th), Darnell Nurse (7th), Rasmus Ristolainen (8th), Bo Horvat (9th), Max Domi (12th), Josh Morrissey (13th), Alexander Wennberg (14th), Ryan Pulock (15th), and Anthony Mantha (20th) are all top-unit players, and Nikita Zadorov (16th) plays a big part defensively on the Avs.

Drouin was the Montréal Canadiens' best forward this season before suffering an injury that will sideline him for months, and MacKinnon has been close to the 100-point plateau for three straight seasons now.

In retrospect, perhaps voters now feel Taylor Hall's 2017-18 Hart Trophy would be more at home in MacKinnon's living room (I already felt that way at the time, myself).

Here is #29 in all his splendour, sporting the Avalanche's burgundy (home) uniform on the "Gold" jersey insert version of card #55 from Upper Deck's 2018-19 SP Game-Used Edition collection:
It features a white game-worn jersey swatch from Colorado's away uniform.

No comments:

Post a Comment