Geek of the Week: Nathan MacKinnon

by Scott Maran on December 17, 2017 | (0 Comments)

Nathan MacKinnon's breakout season is finally here.

Last year for the Colorado Avalanche, nothing could go right for the team. Almost everyone on the ice was struggling and the team put forth one of the worst performances in recent memory. However, this season has seen Colorado remarkably improve. While they’re still only 24th in the league, that’s much better than they were last year. Most of this improvement has come from their star center Nathan MacKinnon, who’s having the breakout year everyone expected would eventually come. With his strong campaign, MacKinnon has provided tons of value to both the Colorado Avalanche and probably your fantasy hockey team.

Drafted first overall in the 2013 NHL Draft by the Avalanche, MacKinnon burst onto the scene with 63 points, earning him the Calder Trophy. People expected big things from the still-18-year-old center and expected improvement from his rookie campaign. However, MacKinnon would struggle a bit after that, seeing his point totals drop to 38 in 64 games in his sophomore season. And while he did manage to record 52 points in 72 games in the following year, last season saw him end with only 53 points in 82 games. While there’s nothing wrong with a 50+ point season, people expected bigger things from the former first round pick and thought he had more potential after his successful rookie season.

But now this year, MacKinnon has exploded with 38 points in his first 32 games, showing the potential he showed in his rookie year. And with the success comes success in fantasy hockey, as MacKinnon has been one of the top players so far this year. According to our Fantasy Hockey Geek Tool, he’s actually been one of the top 20 most valuable fantasy skaters.
 

 

Rank

FHG Value

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

HITS

Vincent Trocheck

13

72

32

13

19

110

11

53

Nathan MacKinnon

14

71

32

15

23

103

14

17

Sidney Crosby

15

70

34

14

18

107

15

31


His FHG value of 71 puts him at 14th in the league, right in front of Sidney Crosby himself. MacKinnon has just about as many shots and power-play points as Crosby (with a little over 10 less hits) but he has more goals and more assists in less games played than the superstar center. Almost all of his value comes from his sparkling point totals, as his 38 points are tied for the ninth most in the league (right alongside Phil Kessel and Blake Wheeler) while his 15 goals are 10th best in the NHL. However, MacKinnon also provides key value in other categories like shots on goal and power-play points. His 103 shots on net are the 21st most in the league while he’s tied for the ninth-most power-play points out of all skaters. His hits totals are MacKinnon’s only real downside, as his 17 hits are the third least out of the top 20 fantasy skaters.

But despite the low hit totals, MacKinnon has still been a very valuable fantasy hockey player. Even though he was only drafted on average 106th overall in Fantrax leagues, he has been providing top-tier value to the lucky poolies who were able to draft.