Jun 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Nathan MacKinnon is interviewed during a press conference for top prospects for the upcoming 2013 NHL Draft at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres Draft Prospects #2: Nathan MacKinnon

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Our look at the top ten prospects for the upcoming 2013 NHL Entry Draft continues with a kid who many people believe will be the number one pick, despite the fact that he is ranked slightly below Seth Jones in the NHL Central Scouting rankings,

Nathan MacKinnon, Center

At this point it looks like MacKinnon is going to be the number 1 pick of the draft (even if the Colorado Avalanche, who announced today that thy would be passing on Seth Jones, trade their pick away).  He is the consensus  all-around best offensive player in the draft, having just amassed 75 regular-season points (32-43-75) for the Halifax Mooseheads in the QMJHL, and 13 points (7-6-13) in the Memorial Cup tournament, which led all scorers.  Of course, he was named the tournament’s MVP- so predictable!

Why exactly are so many people developing serious man crushes on MacKinnon?  Let’s take a look at what Director of NHL Central Dan Marr has to say about him:

  “What makes Nathan stand out is that he has a real quickness with his read and react; his hockey sense – how he sees the ice and his vision. That is something special in a player. He is continuing to physically mature, but already he’s got a lot of grit in his game and he is a competitive player.”

Meanwhile, bleacher report adds

“MacKinnon is an elite distributor and possesses exceptional vision on the ice. His penchant for setting up teammates near the net and keeping his head on a swivel promises to translate well to the NHL.”

Drool away, hockey fans!

Why the Sabres Should Pick Nathan MacKinnon

The Sabres are in desperate need of offense, and more importantly, players who can create offense for everyone on the ice.  If MacKinnon is close to being as good as his scouting report characterizes him, he could provide the Sabres with one of the top-ten scoring lines in the NHL in just a few years.  Additionally, MacKinnon is far more likely to have an immediate impact on a team like the Sabres than someone like Seth Jones is, since the word on the street is that this kid is pretty close to being NHL-ready (although we have all heard that tune before).

Why the Sabres Would Not Pick Nathan MacKinnon

Aside from the fact that this is all just speculation, and that the Sabres will never move into the top spot in the upcoming draft?  There is no reason for the Sabres not to pick this kid if they ever had the chance.  I don’t think he’s worth losing 4-5 players, which is what the Sabres would probably have to sacrifice in order to secure the first pick, but if the Sabres did get the first pick and passed on MacKinnon, the 716 might just implode upon itself in utter disbelief.  Trust me: MacKinnon is the reason the Buffalo Sabres are even considering trying to wrest the top pick away from Colorado.  Barring injury, there’s a long career awaiting this kid, and the Sabres would love to see him wearing blue and gold.

Check out MacKinnon’s video, and come back for my look at Jonathan Drouin, the #3 prospect for the Buffalo Sabres.

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Tags: 2013 Nhl Entry Draft Buffalo Sabres Nathan MacKinnon

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