Landeskog wears the ‘C’, but MacKinnon finally leads the way for the Avalanche

You just can’t look away from Nathan MacKinnon these days. Whenever he’s on the ice, my eyes have trouble following the puck because I want to know what No. 29 for the Colorado Avalanche is doing. If magic is about to happen, it will be channeled through MacKinnon.

This emergence of MacKinnon as one of the NHL’s best players is about more than his point total, All-Star game appearances or early MVP consideration. It’s about what he does with the puck.

Every night, it feels like MacKinnon is mastering a new skill on the ice. Aided by his talented line mates Mikko Rantanen and Gabe Landeskog, he’s finding new ways to dazzle in the offensive end. His skating ability leaves opposing skaters trying to catch him and goalies trying to find him. He sends passes that video game controllers wouldn’t be able to pull off. The speed can really only be captured on slow-motion instant replay.

MacKinnon, put simply, has become one of the best players in the league. This ability to demand your attention, away from the puck, has always been my measure for great forwards in the NHL. Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg had it. Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid have it. Since Matt Duchene was traded, MacKinnon’s been right up there with the NHL’s elite.

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Originally posted on Mile High Sports

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