(NEWARK, N.J.) — The Colorado Avalanche selected Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon with the first pick of the NHL Draft on Sunday.
MacKinnon scored 32 goals and 75 points in 44 regular-season games this season for Halifax.
“It’s amazing how things have worked out in my hockey career,” MacKinnon told TSN. “It’s so exciting and hopefully it’s just getting started. This is unbelievable, to be a part of the Colorado Avalanche. I can’t wait to get to training camp.”
MacKinnon was rated second in the NHL’s Central Scouting list of top North American skaters.
“Nathan’s lived under the microscope for a long time and the pressure and he’s always risen to that occasion,” Former Avalanche star and current executive Joe Sakic told TSN. “He’s an electrifying player. He’s the most explosive player in this draft.”
The Florida Panthers selected Aleksander Barkov with the second selection. Jonathan Drouin went to the Tampa Bay Lightning with the third pick. Seth Jones, who was expected to go at No. 2 fell to the Nashville Predators at four.
The New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center were hosting the draft for the first time. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was greeted to an arrangement of boo’s to kick off the day.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire