MacKinnon looking like the No. 1 pick

It’s starting to look more and more like Nathan MacKinnon will be headed to the Colorado Avalanche with the No. 1 overall pick at Sunday’s NHL draft.

On Monday, Avalanche executive vice-president of hockey operations Joe Sakic told Denver’s CBS affiliate that if the draft was held that day, the team would select the Halifax Mooseheads centre.

“I think if we had to do it today, right now, he would probably be the guy, yes,” Sakic said, before adding: “But we still have some time.”

New Avalanche coach Patrick Roy told the same day: “It would be tough for us not to take MacKinnon. MacKinnon is ready to play tomorrow.”

When asked about the prospect of playing for Roy, who saw plenty of MacKinnon as coach of the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts, MacKinnon told The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell: “It would be fun.

“Anywhere you go, you just want to have a career one day,” MacKinnon added.

MacKinnon attended last year’s NHL draft in Pittsburgh with his agent, Pat Brisson, to get a taste of what looms ahead.

“Definitely a cool experience,” he told Branswell. “And definitely thankful that I got to see it happening before and it kind of prepared me for it this year.”

MacKinnon is ranked No. 2 by NHL Central Scouting among North American skaters, behind Portland Winterhawks defenceman Seth Jones and the Mooseheads’ Jonathan Drouin.

Meanwhile,’s three draft experts, Adam Kimelman, Mike G. Morreale and Steven Hoffner, have made their final mock drafts and all three have MacKinnon going to the Avalanche. Here’s who they have the Canadiens selecting with the No. 25 pick:

Kimelman: Alexander Wennberg, C, Djurgarden, Sweden: “Skilled and smart from playing against men the past two seasons. He had 14 goals, 32 points in 46 games this season.”

Morreale: Chris Bigras, D, Owen Sound: “The 6-0.5, 211-pound two-way defenseman is an extremely hard worker and team leader. He had eight goals, 30 assists and a plus-35 rating in 68 regular-season games. He consistently makes the smart play with quick outlet passes.”

Hoffner: Valentin Zykov, LW, Baie-Comeau: “Habs scouts will know all about Zykov’s 40 goals in the QMJHL this season.”

TSN’s Bob McKenzie also has Zykov slotted at No. 25, writing: “A determined, competitive player who combines a goal scoring intensity with very good skills. He has excellent hands and is able to handle the puck in traffic and get his shot off accurately. Very good offensive instincts and he gets to the dangerous scoring areas at the right times and is hungry to score. Has very good awareness and can make plays which makes him a multi-faceted threat and difficult to keep in check. He is strong along the boards and in traffic and hard to contain.”

Scott Cruickshank, who did a mock draft for Postmedia News, has the Canadiens selecting Prince Albert defenceman Josh Morrissey, writing: “D Josh Morrissey is not big – six feet, 186 pounds – but he’s got grit … Plus, Calgary kid owns plenty of skill … 47 points for WHL Prince Albert.”

The Hockey News mock draft has the Canadiens selecting Mooseheads goalie Zach Fucale at No. 25, writing: “Carey Price needs an heir and local boy Fucale is the best available netminder this year.”

(Photo by Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Road to NHL success goes through the draft, by Pat Hickey draft experts make their picks,

Bob McKenzie’s final draft rankings,

Top draft prospects, best and worst NHL picks, mock draft,

Last year’s draft was a dress rehearsal for MacKinnon, by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell

MacKinnon tries to stay humble despite growing fame,

Today, Avalanche would draft MacKinnon,

Jones handles hype with class,

Drouin has come a long way in a short time, by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell

Rosemere’s Fucale top-rated goalie heading into draft, by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell

Bruins’ Bergeron being treated at hospital for punctured lung,



  1. jphk says:

    What was the point of the lock-out? Silly money already to has-been like Streit, Gonchar and Zubrus (the latter making DD sounds like a bargain). At this pace, we will have about 5 true NHL players (mind you, not much of a difference, I guess…)

  2. Lafleurguy says:

    Will Vinnie Veni Vidi Vici?

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • habs1992 says:

      Vinny or Danny, will we choose one of them neither, or maybe just maybe BOTH of them. Both French LOL Flying Frenchman 2.0

      I support Carey Price

  3. junyab says:

    Please no Lecavalier to MTL talk today fellas. You should know better.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Way to slip one in. Clever. I think we both know HIO psyches.

      “May you live in interesting times.”
      edit: HIO gremlins also put your post on the last thread, maybe as a way to give you a +1.

  4. habs1992 says:

    I am in shock that Shayne Corson played for Team Canada at the 98 Olympics, wasn’t old enough to remember it but shocking.

    I support Carey Price

    • Curtis O Habs says:

      Corson got off to a hot start that year and couldn`t be denied. He did not look out of place and was playing some of the best hockey of his career.

  5. JayK-47 says:


    I will yell if that kind of craziness were to happen.

  6. HabFab says:

    Brennan Klak – Per Elliotte Friedman, Tampa Bay is offering Ryan Malone + a mid pick to teams for a late pick, like a 7th rounder.

    Will be 34 in December and 2 years left at $4.5 ML Cap??

    • savethepuck says:

      Had to go to capgeek before I could answer your question. 4.5 M for the next 2 years may be something MB can fit in. Looks like a last ditch effort by the Bolts to dump him before they buy him out to me.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

      • HabFab says:

        Had gotten my figures from capgeek too. My ?? was questioning the possibility of doing it.
        Grammar is sure taking a beating with modern communication devices and social media. My bad 🙂

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      Teams “paying” draft picks or prospects to other teams to take their bad contracts was one of the two pillars of Brian Burke’s management philosophy. If Tampa really made that kind of trade it would only the 2nd time it ever happened by my count. (the 1st time being the trade that sent Matthew Lombardi from Nashville to Toronto)

    • savethepuck says:

      You edited your post and added his contract info after I read it.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  7. HabFab says:

    So I can understand the Western contingent being here but I’m counting 3 East Coasters here as well. What’s up with that?

  8. HabFab says:

    An insightful look at the draft evaluation process;

    • matt jordan says:

      Insightful? That’s the Leafs draft process.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      “The rewards of his first draft as the Leafs head scout are only beginning to bloom seven years later. All but one of the seven players selected that day at the 2006 draft in Vancouver have made it to the NHL, four of those six – James Reimer, Nik Kulemin, Leo Komarov, and Korbinian Holzer – suiting up for the Leafs this past season.”

      Two of those guys suck though.

      • HabFab says:

        You draft 6-8 players a year. 1-2 have NHL careers and 2-3 will play a few games. It is a difficult process and 10 years before you know how well you actually did. Here on HIO we would trade half our team for draft picks. Who plays until they develop in 5 years remains a mystery to me?

  9. HabFab says:

    From the Hickey article linked above;

    “A year later, MacLean selected Gilbert Brule with the sixth overall pick, right after Montreal took Carey Price. Over three seasons with Columbus, Brule scored 12 goals in 146 games.

    “I remember Pierre McGuire criticized the Canadiens for picking Price over Brule, and years later he’s talking about what a bad pick I made,” MacLean said. “I remember I went to the draft with (director of amateur scouting) Don Boyd and we were trying to decide whether to take Brule or Anze Kopitar, who ended up going to Los Angeles at No. 11.”

  10. theox_8 says:

    For one I still think Jones really impressed in the World Juniors. Still think it is kind of weird that you would judge an 17 year old jones one his “physique” seriously that is just weird guys.

    • savethepuck says:

      Jones will be 19 on Oct 3rd, MacKinnon will not be 18 until September 1st. Jones’ age and the depth at D for the US Jrs along with the Canadian juniors depth at center along with Nathan’s age, may be a good reason why Jones had the chance to outshine Nathan at the WJHC.
      BTW, I totally agree that the opinions on Seth’s physique are ridiculous.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  11. Timo says:

    Do you folks remember the bidding frenzy that ensued when Gomez was put on waivers?

    • savethepuck says:

      The Sharks were licking their chops.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • matt jordan says:

      I’m wondering if he’ll get signed again. His numbers in San Jose were the same as they were in Montreal, and his game was still hilariously bad (hilarious now that he doesn’t play for the Habs).

  12. Habs_4_ever says:

    Is she plucking the hairs from his armpit, or about to sign his chest???
    Maybe testing his tolerance for tickling. 🙂
    “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

  13. durocher says:

    Wednesday evening GM’ing:

    Sign Bickell, Eager, Lovejoy, and Blum
    Let go: Ryder, White, Halpern, Weber, Kaberle

    EXTRA: Blunden, Eager
    PIPELINE: Leblanc, Bournival

    Markov-Lovejoy (until Emelin is healthy)
    EXTRAS: Blum, Drewiske
    PIPELINE: Beaulieu, Pateryn, Gormley

    Center Scenario 1: Lecavalier is bought out, he signs with Montreal; OR
    Center Scenario 2: DD, Diaz, and Moen traded for Vermette and Gormley

    2013 draft: Habs trade their 1st round pick and Kristo to move up to draft Fucale

    • matt jordan says:

      It’s obvious from this post that you know Fucale about hockey.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      I would Happily give the Coyotes their choice Beaulieu or Tinordi in exchange for Brandon Gormley. Hell, I’d even throw in a Collberg, or some Bozons, or Hudons, or some 2nd round picks.

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        That might be a slight exaggeration ; )

      • savethepuck says:

        Gormley is a great defenceman but u r correct, it may be an exaggeration. Considering he was drafted 13th overall in 2010 and still hasn’t played in the NHL should tell people to be patient with our own draft picks. A lot of Habs fans would consider him a bust already.

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

        • Sean Bonjovi says:

          Gormley was rated 3rd or 4th that year, but then everybody started picking forwards. Some of those forwards are pretty good, but I’d still rather have Gormley than any of them except maybe Taylor Hall.

          • savethepuck says:

            The point of my reply was not to question Gormley, I think he’ll be a great NHL DMan. My point was that a 13th overall still not playing in the NHL 3 yrs later should tell people how long it takes to develop players. Top 3’s are one thing, but beyond that it takes a lot of time to see the results. Tinordi was drafted the same year and Beaulieu the next year, so we shouldn’t be expecting them to play prominent roles in the near future.

            “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
            Carey Price

  14. savethepuck says:

    Tweet by MacKenzie;

    “Compliance buyout window is now open BUT no buyout can occur until: a) player is put on waivers; b) player clears waivers 24 hrs later.

    I was unaware of the clearing waivers part of the equation.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

    • Habs_4_ever says:

      So if someone claims a player who is being bought out(not that anyone would, right?) is that player still considered a buyout, or does the team then have the choice of buying out someone else?
      “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

      • savethepuck says:

        The only reason I can see a team claiming that player on waivers would be because they would be willing to take on that player”s current contract. The only advantage would be that they would not have to compete with other teams to sign the player as a free agent. And yes, I’m sure that would mean the team does not have to buy the player out.

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

        • Habs_4_ever says:

          Thanks, it will be interesting to see what happens.
          Are the buyouts something that teams must do, or is it just an option that teams have? If it’s just an option, do you think every team will be using their buyouts or are there teams that don’t need to.

          “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

          • HabFab says:

            It is optional and from Bob McKenzie earlier.

            Bob McKenzie ‏- Following teams, IMO, not likely to buy out: ANA, BOS, BUF, CGY, CAR, COL, CBJ, DAL, FLA, LA, MIN, NJ, NSH, OTT, PHX, SJ, STL, WSH, WPG.

          • savethepuck says:

            The amnesty buyouts are only a tool to help teams get under the CAP because the new CBA dropped the percentage from 57 to 50 % and next year’s CAP was automatically set at 64.3 M. MacKenzie has already named 19 teams that probably will not be using a buyout. You can probably find it on TSN.Ca.

            “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
            Carey Price

  15. Timo says:

    Why are people opposed to getting Ference? He is a scum, for sure, but so what? Other than Subban and Emelin he’d be the next best dman on that team.

    • savethepuck says:

      He’s 34 years old. Nobody wants to keep any of our own 30 plus players, so why is that douche any different.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

      • Timo says:

        Because right now he is better than 2/3 of Habs defense. A 2 year deal would be good if indeed Bergevin has a plan (a BIG if) he is a good mid term measure to ensure some stability on defense.

        • The Jackal says:

          Timo, I’m not being sarcastic… I love your posts.
          While I don’t agree with the content, the delivery is great, they are just so blunt that they make me laugh even though I disagree. I’m not trying to be smart or anything, I think there is a bit of truth in your scepticism, and even though I am an optimist, the way your posts sound just makes them be funny… I hope you understand what I mean and are not offended or think that I am brushing them off. I respect your opinion, I just think the way you deliver it is funny.

          Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Just A Guy says:

      5’11” 180lbs
      34 years old.

      We need crease clearing defensemen, the nastiness comes afterwards. He won’t solve the current problems on the habs defense. Though if no better option is available, throw him a one year deal and see what happens? Drewiske and Bouillion aren’t better options as a 5th/6th. I dunno though, I wonder how fans at the bell center will like them man that flipped them the bird lol.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Don’t think he’d be the 3rd best Dman on the team with Markov still around, and even Gorges.

      – He’s old
      – He was probably the smallest Bruins Dman until Krug started playing
      – He’s looking for a relatively long contract since he’s 34, and the Habs have Tinordi and Beaulieu and other guys coming up
      – He’s a complete idiot like Marchand (who I wouldn’t want on this team)

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Timo, you’re answering your own question. I don’t want that scum wearing bleu-blanc-rouge, and I don’t want to have to cheer for him.

      “There’s a little bit of embelleshing going on. You know, on our team, we don’t accept it. You kow, it’s something we don’t accept as players, and as teammates.”–Milan Lucic.

    • junyab says:

      I’d much rather give Beaulieu and Tinordi a spot on our D then a guy that gave the MTL fans the finger.

      He’s classless. Anyone with any respect for the CH knows scum shouldn’t be given the privelidge to put on our jersey.

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