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Nathan MacKinnon: Number One by a Moosehead

Based on the early returns, Nathan MacKinnon appears to be well on his way to securing the first-overall draft pick next June.

The Cole Habour, Nova Scotia native has been held pointless just once in the opening 10 games and is currently riding a four-game goal streak (seven goals) - without sidekick winger Jonathan Drouin, out the past three games with an upper-body injury.

After firing 31 goals in 58 games as a 16-year-old rookie in `11-12, MacKinnon appears markedly quicker and stronger this season - and dominating shifts with his skill, speed and hockey intellect.

His improvements in body strength over the summer have helped bolster all aspects of his game - including faceoffs which stand at 58.6 percent - up from last season's 45.7 mark.


Nathan MacKinnon (C), Halifax - gifted with sensational hand skills - can stickhandle and maneuver the puck displaying remarkable speed, accuracy and control .. able to side-step and freeze defenders - all with a minimum of effort .. makes everything look easy .. explodes from the blocks, generating optimum power in each stride - backed by a strong core and lower body .. blazes into attack, backing opponents off with his speed and playmaking tempo - and is loyal to a few well-rehearsed signature moves - such as a toe-drag and an inside-out shift - which can work to limited effect at times .. prone to trying to do too much and attempting to beat 2-3 players in succession - instead of just dumping the puck in deep and exploiting his blazing top gear to chase and recover .. can be a victim of his own industry at times - very hesitant to give up possession under any circumstances without making a constructive play .. boasts exceptional individual abilities, including a hard shot .. gets discouraged when things don't go right - which will be conveyed via sulky body language - drops shoulders, slams stick .. however, this frustration can be attributed to a healthy appetite to win - as his overall play continues to gradually mature .. responsible defensively - makes smart, productive plays for the most part .. can get burned from time to time in the neutral zone by adept pickpockets, but always works diligently to get back and mark his man .. there is definitely some sandpaper to his game as he will push back and stick players occasionally .. should develop improved ways to protect the puck better as he gains experience - could employ more stops and starts to his repertoire .. tends to quit once in awhile after a play has dissolved .. a special game-breaker with elite hand and foot speed.