Nathan MacKinnon joins elite group of Avs with second All-Star selection

660

Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has just accomplished something no Avs player has managed to do since Joe Sakic.

MacKinnon, who made his first career All-Star Game appearance last season in Los Angeles, is the first Avalanche player to be chosen to two consecutive All-Star Games since Sakic in 2003-04 and 2006-07.

MacKinnon was selected selected to represent the Avalanche at the 2018 NHL All-Star Game, the League announced Wednesday.

MacKinnon will make his second straight All-Star Game appearance when the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game is held on Sunday, Jan. 28, at AMALIE Arena in Tampa, Florida (1:30 p.m. MT, NBC). MacKinnon will also participate in the NHL All-Star Skills Competition the night before on Saturday, Jan. 27 (5 p.m. MT, NBCSN).

MacKinnon joins the following Nordiques/Avs with back-to-back All-Star selections: Rob Blake, Peter Forsberg, Michel Goulet, Milan HejdukSandis OzolinshPatrick Roy, Sakic and Peter Stastny.

MacKinnon leads the Avalanche and is tied for second in League scoring with 52 points (18g/34a) in 41 games this season. He also ranks second in the NHL in points-per-game (1.27) and is seventh in assists. The 22-year-old center paces the Avs in all three scoring categories, as well as shots (136) and game-winning tallies (4). He was the first Colorado player to rank among the NHL’s top-five scorers on New Year’s Day since Sakic in 2003-04.

MacKinnon is the NHL’s leading scorer since Nov. 1, totaling 44 points (15g/29a) in his last 30 games. He is tied for first in scoring since Dec. 1 with 24 points (10g/14a) in his last 18 contests.

His offensive explosion over the past two-plus months has garnered MVP talk both locally and nationally.

The Halifax, Nova Scotia, native has registered a career-high 16 multi-point games this season, including three or more points in seven contests, the most three-point games by an Avalanche player since Paul Stastny had seven such performances in 2009-10.

MacKinnon leads the NHL in scoring at home with 40 points (14g/26a) in 23 contests. All seven of his three-point efforts have come at Pepsi Center, the most by a Colorado player on home ice since 2002-03 (Milan Hejduk, 7 and Peter Forsberg, 9).

MacKinnon was named the NHL’s First Star of the Month in November after leading all skaters in points (20-tied), assists (15), plus/minus (+11) and points-per-game (1.67) in 12 contests. He was the first Avs player to be named First Star of the Month since Craig Anderson in October 2009. Nathan was chosen as the NHL’s Third Star of the Week for Nov. 13-19 after recording seven points (2g/5a) in three contests, including a career-high five-point effort (1g/4a) on Nov. 16 vs. Washington. That was the first five-point game by an Avalanche player since Dec. 9, 2007 (Hejduk, 6 and Stastny, 5 vs. St. Louis).

MacKinnon registered 20 points (6g/14a) in a 10-game stretch from Oct. 28 to Nov. 22, the first Avalanche player to record 20 points in a span of 10 team games since Sakic from March 20 to April 9, 2006.

Selected first overall by Colorado in the 2013 NHL Draft, MacKinnon has totaled 258 points (93g/165a) in 341 career NHL games. He won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year in 2013-14, the youngest player to ever win the award (18 years, 224 days). He was the youngest player in franchise history to make his debut (18 years, 31 days), compiled the longest point streak by an 18-year-old in NHL history (13 games), became the youngest player to record two points in a game since 1944 and tied the NHL record for the most points in his first two career playoff games with seven. He led the Avs in scoring for the first time last season (2016-17) with 53 points (16g/37a) in 82 contests.

Prior to turning pro, MacKinnon led the Halifax Mooseheads to their first-ever Quebec Major Junior Hockey League championship and first-ever Memorial Cup title in 2012-13.

At the international level, MacKinnon has represented Canada at three world championships (2014-15, 2017), helping his country to the gold medal in 2015 and silver in 2017.  He also played for his nation at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship and competed for Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

For the third straight season, the All-Star Game will feature a three-game tournament, played in a 3-on-3 format, showcasing teams from each NHL division.  Each of the four teams will include six forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders.

SHARE