Jonathan Drouin vs. Nathan MacKinnon

steve laidlaw



Jonathan Drouin


Jonathan Drouin vs. Nathan MacKinnon




This is one we will no doubt be debating for years to come. Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon are two can't miss prospects in one of the best drafts in recent years (although we do seem to say that every year, don't we?) Each has the power to not just become an impact player right away but to help change the course of the team that drafts him at Sunday in Newark. And each one could have a similar impact for your fantasy team. But who should you choose?



MacKinnon will almost certainly go first overall in the NHL draft. Joe Sakic practically came out and said so when he declared that the Avalanche would draft a forward with the number one selection this year. And certainly that should carry a lot of weight. For the past decade or so NHL teams have proven very adept at identifying the top forward in a draft class and taking him ahead of other contenders and more often than not those top forwards have made an impact sooner and produced at a higher level than his rivals.


This isn't to say that this is always true. A perfect example being the 2006 NHL Entry Draft where Jordan Staal was selected as the top forward only to see Jonathan Toews, Nicklas Backstrom and Phil Kessel all selected with the next three picks go on to have much greater impacts on the score sheet.


Circumstances matter. And sometimes teams just miss. And that's not to say Toews, Backstrom or Kessel are better NHL players than Staal but certainly they've had more fantasy impact, which should be all that matters for you.


And it's all true what they say about MacKinnon. He is the best NHL prospect in this draft class. You can talk about upside until you are blue in the face but smart teams will always take what's tangibly there and in MacKinnon you have a player who above anyone else in this draft class is ready to be an NHL player now. MacKinnon has the size, skill and skating ability to excel at the highest level. He absolutely has a lot to learn but that's part of his own upside. His current skill level makes him an NHL player now, which is as can't miss as it comes.


But it wasn't so long ago that Seth Jones was slated to be Colorado's pick at #1. That all seemingly fell apart in one play at the Memorial Cup where MacKinnon beat Jones to the outside for one of his three goals in a resounding 7-4 win. MacKinnon was dominant all Memorial Cup, taking home MVP honours scoring seven goals and 13 points in just four games.


MacKinnon basically blew the roof off. Everyone knew he was a solid prospect but here he was taking it to the best of his peers. On the biggest stage he was at his absolute best. He was a big game player – someone who you could win Stanley Cups with. But remember that number. Fou