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MHH's 2014-15 Avalanche Season Analysis: Part 2 - Nathan MacKinnon

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He hit the NHL by storm; so what now?

Ethan Miller

Will Nathan MacKinnon improve upon his Calder-winning season, or will he struggle and suffer the Sophomore Slump?

SteveHouse:

You know, honestly I think MacKinnon is going to take more positive strides, but also his role is going to be more demanding. So at the end of the day it's a wash. No slump, but no big production explosion either, that's my prediction.

c6hor8:

I think he gets near 80 points and finishes the season as a top 5 center in the league.

Mike:

Imma gonna go with improve.

Sandie:

He'll continue to be Awesome Sauce. You may see a bit of a struggle at the begining, as teams learn to keep a close eye on him. But he'll adapt. The fact that he's put on a lot of muscle, but hasn't lost his speed will help him tremedously.

Angelique:

Safe to say that Nathan MacKinnon is doing everything in his power to avoid a sophomore slump by bulking up this offseason. Still, the biggest question remains as to how he will transition to center with the extra defensive responsibilities. As much as this kid will be a superstar in the future, I believe there will be a short setback as he learns the rigors of becoming a centerman in the NHL.

Matt:

I'm a little torn about MacKinnon... Well, not really.  The basic answer is:  No Sophomore slump.  That being said, he might struggle a little as he adjusts to playing a more defensive game now that the team can't lean on Stastny's defensive prowess.  He will make up for that struggle with the work he's done in the off season... putting on weight, working with Dutchie and Sid in Vail, and generally maturing.  He's going to be better in some ways, and struggle in others, but there will be no slump.  There will be an adjustment period as he turns into a truly elite talent.

Earl:

Bigger, faster sound like decent upgrades.  I'll take it. He's not a guy you'd think would be susceptible to a sophomore slump, I like him for 85+ points this year.

AJ:

I am 100% all-in on MacKinnon. I think he scores 40 this year and puts his name in the Hart Trophy conversation. Playing on a line with a brilliant playmaker like Tanguay is going to help further open up the ice for MacKinnon's ridiculous scoring ability. I think MacKinnon takes the leap into the top 10 player discussion and makes the mere notion of a Sophomore Slump seem silly in retrospect.

Andi:

Mac?  Yeah, he's only going to continue getting better.  There will probably be a few more rough spots for him this year -especially as he switches to the defensive responsibilities of a Top 6 NHL center - but he's a fast learner who's surrounded by some very strong and helpful wingers.  The kid will be fine.  Right now, I'm just curious to see how the extra 15lbs of muscle he put on over the summer affect his game.  He could terrorize the league.  I think I'd be okay with that.

Cheryl:

I don't think we have done much more than glimpse at how good MacKinnon. This season, he's going to solidify himself in the "best of the best" talks around the league.