SPORTS

Nathan MacKinnon's NHL playoff hot streak wows fans

04/21/2014 06:14 EDT | Updated 06/21/2014 05:59 EDT
Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia’s latest hockey phenom is on a hot streak in his playoff debut for the Colorado Avalanche.

Before Monday night’s game, 18-year-old Nathan MacKinnon was tied for first in NHL playoff points. The Colorado Avalanche player has seven points in two games so far.

The former Halifax Mooseheads' first career playoff goal dazzled everyone, and had CBC’s Don Cherry calling him a "guaranteed superstar." 

MacKinnon developed his hockey skills in Cole Harbour, the home of of Sidney Crosby — and back home, fans are not surprised by his success.

"I thought he was amazing Saturday night. You could tell he was playing at another level," said Jon Greenwood, hockey director at Maritime Varsity Academy.

Greenwood coached MacKinnon during his Peewee and Bantam years. He said he has watched MacKinnon grow as a player, but he makes no predictions for what's next.

"You know, when he was 13 we didn't know what he'd be like at 18, and now you're trying to forecast how good could he be at 25, who knows? He's amazing right now. He's doing great things at 18, hopefully it's just a long healthy career ahead of him," said Greenwood.

Other fans, like Vince Reilly, say MacKinnon makes them proud to be from Cole Harbour.

"Unbelievable. So much speed. I mean, he almost broke buddy's ankle, he turned him inside out. Nathan's the next one,” said Reilly.

Cole Harbour wasn't the only place that reacted that way, the online world has exploded with comments about MacKinnon's performance Saturday night.

"MacKinnon is the rookie of the year? Let's open this up for discussion," the NHL tweeted.

Cole Harbour native Dennis Leblanc said if MacKinnon doesn’t win the award, something’s up.

"Cole Harbour produces some hockey players, there's no two ways about it,” said Leblanc. “He's a very clean player, plays hard. I'm proud of him.”

The NHL will officially announce the Calder Memorial Trophy, given to rookie of the year, at the NHL Awards in June. 

MacKinnon and the Avalanche are back on the ice for Game three Monday night against the Minnesota Wild at 8 p.m. AT.

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