3 Colorado Avalanche players who have surprised this season

Colorado Avalanche v Edmonton Oilers
Colorado Avalanche v Edmonton Oilers / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages
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The Colorado Avalanche have been successful this season. There is still work to be done starting next week if they’d like to hoist the ultimate prize, as championships aren’t won in the regular season, but this season has gone well. For a team that has few holes, the chatter from Avalanche nation has been focused on certain areas where the team is lacking, but there’s been plenty of positive chatter as well. As the team has 105 points through 81 games, there are a lot of reasons to be pleased.

This success comes with a lot of players stepping up over the course of the season, some expected, and some not. Here are three players who have stepped up and surprised for the Avalanche this season.

3 Colorado Avalanche players who have stepped up this season: Nathan MacKinnon

Nathan MacKinnon has carried the Colorado Avalanche on his back this season. He was expected to do so, but not to this degree. His 138 points are second in the league and he has blown away career highs in goals, assists and points this season. His previous career-high in points was obtained last season with 111 in 71 games. He’s blown away his career high goals this season as he has 51 through 81 games. His previous high was 42, set last year. MacKinnon also has 87 assists this season, yet another career high. His previous high was 69 assists, set last year as well.

MacKinnon’s secondary offensive numbers have several career highs sprinkled in. He’s currently a +34, which means he’s been on the ice for 34 more goals scored than against. The Halifax, NS native has 47 power play points this season, a career high by 10 points. He’s averaging nearly 23 minutes per game on ice (22:52) which is also a career high. He’s taken the most shots of his career as well (404).

MacKinnon was expected to be a difference maker for the Avalanche this season, but he wasn’t expected to produce at the level he has.