Newark, NJ – The Colorado Avalanche tabbed center Nathan MacKinnon with the first overall selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft on Sunday at Prudential Center.
The 17-year-old, who skated for his hometown Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, compiled 32 goals and 75 points in 44 regular- season games, adding 11 goals and 22 assists in 17 postseason appearances for the Memorial Cup champions.
"It's amazing how things worked out in my career. I'm just getting started. It's unbelieveable that I'm a member of the Colorado Avalanche. I'm ready for training camp," MacKinnon said, while flanked by Hall of Famer Joe Sakic.
It was the Colorado/Quebec franchise's first time selecting first overall since taking Eric Lindros in 1991.
"Nathan's lived under the microscope for a long time. He's the most explosive player in this draft. Whatever challenges he's faced, he's risen to them," Sakic added.
With the second pick, Florida plucked center Aleksandr Barkov from Tampere of Finland's top league. Barkov totaled 21 goals and 27 assists during his second season with the club.
Tampa Bay brought in MacKinnon's teammate Jonathan Drouin at third overall. The 18-year-old left-handed winger led Halifax in goals (41), assists (64) and points (105) in only 49 games a season ago. He added a team-best 35 points in 17 games for the Canadian junior titlists.
Seth Jones was taken at number four by the Nashville Predators. In his first season at the junior level, the 18-year-old Texas-born defenseman recorded 14 goals and 56 points in 61 games for the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League. He was a key cog for the Gold-medal winning Team USA squad at this year's World Junior Championship.
"It feels great, I'm lucky to be here and to hear my name called. I'm going to do whatever I can to help Nashville win. I've been training on and off the ice, so I think I'm ready to help the team," said Jones.
Elias Lindholm, an 18-year-old forward from Brynas of the Swedish Elite League, was taken by Carolina with the fifth pick. Lindholm tallied 11 goals and 19 assists in 48 games a year ago.
Calgary took forward Sean Monahan from the Ottawa 67s of the Ontario Hockey League with the sixth selection, while rival Edmonton snagged defenseman Darnell Nurse from Sault Ste. Marie in the seventh slot. The Sabres collected blueliner Rasmus Ristolainen from the Finnish Elite League at number eight, and after the Canucks aquired the ninth-overall slot from the New Jersey Devils, Vancouver plucked forward Bo Horvat from London of the OHL.
Dallas rounded out the top 10 by taking forward Valeri Nichushkin from Chelyabinsk of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.