Colorado Avalanche: Nathan MacKinnon On Pace for Career Year Again

Colorado Avalanche superstar winger Nathan Mackinnon is on pace for another career year. Let’s start the Hart Trophy conversation.

The Colorado Avalanche’s MVP is Nathan MacKinnon, no matter what those fools voting on the Hart Trophy a couple years ago think. The team goes how MacKinnon goes. (If you don’t believe that, look at the Avs’ faces in Game 7 when MacKinnon went down with an apparent shoulder injury. Talk about deflated.)

And right now, MacKinnon is on pace for another career year. Which is amazing because his last two years were also career bests for him. What an amazing trajectory for the 24-year-old center. (I just got giddy typing his age. He’s so young to be so magnificent!)

In 2017-18, he hit a career-best in goals (39), assists (58), and points (97). That’s something considering his previous best was his rookie season when he recorded 24 goals and 39 assists for 63 points.

Last year, he edged out those numbers. He bested his career-high in goals again by breaking the 40-goal mark — 41, to be specific. He equaled his assists and edged out his total points at 99. He was so close to hitting that 100-point mark!

Well, this season he’s on pace to pass it. Right now he’s sitting at 56 points. We’re two games shy of the half-season mark, but that still puts him on pace to reach well past the 100-point mark. He has 22 goals, so we might see him pass the 40-goal mark again.

Nathan MacKinnon is on a trajectory to put him right up there with the Colorado Avalanche’s scoring greats. Right now, he has 177 goals and 281 assists for 458 points in 6 1/2 years (495 games) with the Avs. Here’s what the greats achieved in their careers:

  • Peter Forsberg: 14 years (708 games), 249 goals, 636 assists, 885 points
  • Milan Hejduk: 14 years (1,020 games), 375 goals, 430 assists, 805 points
  • Joe Sakic: 20 years (1,378 games), 625 goals, 1,016 assists, 1,641 points

Let’s do some math. If MacKinnon plays as many games as Forsberg, he could record 655 points. At Hejduk games, he’s have 943. In Sakic years, he’d be at 1,274.

Please let him play as many games for the Colorado Avalanche as Sakic did for the franchise.

Anyway, he’s not going to beat our Hall of Famers necessarily, but any time you’re in the same conversation as them, you’ve got to count that as a win.

I’m going to lead the charge this year of calling for Nathan MacKinnon to be the Hart Trophy winner. Whether you like it or not, the Hart Trophy is awarded to the player who’s most integral to his team’s success, as gauged by making the playoffs.

Two years ago, it was openly speculated that winger Mikko Rantanen cost Nate the Hart because of his own career season. Captain Gabriel Landeskog having a career year, too, didn’t help since the three played on a line together.

Well, both Rantanen and Landeskog were out for several weeks — along with other key players. Literally one-third of our opening night lineup was out with injury at one point in the season.

And the Colorado Avalanche enjoyed a winning record thanks to our superstar, MacKinnon. He’s even elevated Joonas Donskoi and Andre Burakovsky into potential career years of their own.

Next: MacKinnon Named Central Division All Star

That’s the very definition of a team’s MVP. But that’s for later. For now, let’s just enjoy the career highs that Nathan MacKinnon is hitting now.