Colorado Avalanche: Can Nathan MacKinnon Eclipse Patrick Kane

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 28: Nathan MacKinnon
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 28: Nathan MacKinnon /

With the emergence of Colorado Avalanche talent Nathan MacKinnon, could we be seeing a player even more special than showy Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane?

The Colorado Avalanche are hosting the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow. That means Patrick “Showtime” Kane will be in the building. He’s arguably the Blackhawks’ best player. Indeed, he leads the team with his 72 points (26 goals, 46 assists).

There’s no argument who the Avalanche’s best player is — Nathan MacKinnon. He’s gone cold the last few games, but he still dragged the team along on his coattails — and 92 points (38 goals, 54 assists).

Kane has been on some dynastic teams, having won the Stanley Cup three times. MacKinnon has been on some awful teams. Nonetheless, let’s see if our young superstar has the ability to eclipse at least some of Kane’s accomplishments.

If you look at straight up awards, Kane has MacKinnon beat.

Kane’s Awards:

  • Hart Trophy: 2015-16
  • Art Ross Trophy: 2015-16
  • Conn Smythe Trophy: 2013
  • NHL All Star: 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Stanley Cup Champion: 2010, 2013, 2015
  • All Rookie Team: 2008
  • Calder Trophy: 2008

MacKinnon’s Awards:

  • NHL All Star: 2017, 2018
  • All Rookie Team: 2013
  • Calder Trophy: 2013

Like I said, Kane has been on some excellent teams, while MacKinnon has been on some bad teams.

Colorado Avalanche
Colorado Avalanche /

Colorado Avalanche

Patrick Kane is peaking, though, and is a year or two from veteran status — he’s not getting any better, in other words. He has 311 goals and 513 assists in 817 regular season games. That’s good for just over a point a game. That’s not likely to improve and is more likely to decrease as he ages.

Nathan MacKinnon is just barely striding into his prime. He just found his elite game this season. He has 113 goals and 185 assists in 369 games. That’s good for .80 points a game. However, this season he’s scored at 1.33 points per game compared to Kane’s .93. I’m not saying MacKinnon can keep up that pace, but… you don’t know.

We haven’t seen what, exactly, Nathan MacKinnon can do year in and year out. This is the first season he’s the true number-one guy on the team — no more Matt Duchene serving as a lightning rod. This is MacKinnon’s team.

So, as far as winning all those awards like Kane, Nate won’t do it by the time he’s Kane’s age because of the place the Colorado Avalanche are in concerning their rebuild. However, I feel safe saying that personally, MacKinnon’s trajectory is higher than Pat’s.

Next: Comparing Rantanen and Voracek

Fun fact: When you look on Nathan MacKinnon’s Wikipedia page, you don’t see subheadings for misdemeanor charges and police investigations like you do on Kane’s. Beyond his playing career information, you see only one extra heading — acting. MacKinnon has appeared in two television shows, a commercial, and a Youtube video. He even has his own IMDb page.

So, you know, beyond all else, MacKinnon has already well eclipsed Kane on being a decent human being.

In any case, it may be “showtime” for Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks. But I think it could be magical for Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche — and I prefer the magic to the show.