Nathan MacKinnon…A Moosehead?

Nathan MacKinnon rushes the puck into the offensive zone for Team Nova Scotia at the 2011 Canada Games in HalifaxIt was no secret of the Halifax Mooseheads interest in trying to acquire the first overall pick in this year QMJHL Midget Draft in order to select Nathan MacKinnon. There were probably few teams that didn’t at least contact Baie-Comeau Drakkar gerenal manager Steve Ahern to find out the asking price.

While Ahern continues to state that he is working on convincing MacKinnon to report to camp, he is inching the door open to a trade with each passing day without a committment.

It’s only a matter of time before he is moved. The silence from the MacKinnon camp speaks volumes. Before the draft, he would not make any committment to the Q, knowing who held the first pick, and since being chosen by B-C, it has been even quieter.

If Halifax had held the first overall pick, do you think a decision (either way) would have been left up in the air for so long? If that were the situation and MacKinnnon had decided not to join the Q, we would have heard about a committment to a U.S. university well in advance, just so no one got their hopes up.

Many players that prefer that route declare early on to avoid such draft situations. A number of potential top picks in this year’s Q draft did exactly that and were not drafted early on because of it. But MacKinnon’s uncertainty indicates it was not his preference given the right situation in the Q.

The usual suspects, Halifax (of course), Rimouski, Quebec, Shawinigan and others, are all beleived to have interest, with the Moose and the Oceanic the likely favourites.

According to Steve Turcotte of cyberpress.ca Halifax and Rimouski have offers currently on the table.

The Oceanic are apparently offering one of their star players, a high-potential youngster, and two first round picks. While Halifax is apparently dangling a quality veteran and a number of high draft picks as well.

Interesting if that speculation were true, it does not seem to indicate Jonathan Drouin, whom the Mooseheads chose with the second overall selection this year. Of course that is only speculation and could of course change.

The Cataracte were recently awarded the 2012 Memorial Cup and would likely love to add a young player of MacKinnon’s calibre to make a bid for the championship. At the same time, you have to beleive they would be reluctant to offer too much immediate help, and lean towrds parting with young players and draft picks.

Now it will be interesting to see if they can get a similar package. Teams will now know they have to move him, but the competition to land such a talent may keeping the bidding high.

It should be interesting to see what happens when the trading window reopen on August 1.

It would mean a lot if Halifax could acquire him, especially if they can builder a winner around him, but what will it cost?

MacKinnon’s Choice

Now it was considered unlikely that MacKinnon would go the USHL route, but not impossible. He was actually visiting and skating with Omaha, the USHL team that drafted his rights, the day of the Q Draft. If that wasn’t a sign to the Drakkar, I am not sure what would be.

It is interesting to note that the USHL had more players drafted (25) in this weekend’s NHL Entry Draft than did the QMJHL (22). A fact like that could cause a player thinking aout his development to think twice. Of course the Q can argue a greater number in the top tier of the draft.

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  1. Maritime Hockey Not Far Off « Route 19 - July 4, 2011

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