Avalanche's Nathan MacKinnon strong on offence and defence

Colorado Avalanche forward and No. 1 overall draft pick Nathan MacKinnon has shown his skills as a...

Colorado Avalanche forward and No. 1 overall draft pick Nathan MacKinnon has shown his skills as a two-way player in his rookie season. (AFP)

Derek Van Diest, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:35 PM ET

Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy was familiar with Nathan MacKinnon prior to last summer’s NHL Entry Draft.

While playing with the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, MacKinnon stuck it to Roy and the Quebec Remparts in the playoffs.

“He beat us in Game 7 and we were up 3-0 in that series,” Roy smiled. “I had an opinion on him (before the draft), but it had to become the organization’s decision.

“I did say good words about him to our scouts and to (Executive VP of hockey operations) Joe (Sakic). But Joe also had his opinions of him when he watched him at the Memorial Cup. We all had our opinions, but at the end of the day, it was an organizational decision to take him over the other guys.”

The Avalanche took MacKinnon first overall in last summer’s draft and appear to have made the right decision.


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