NEWARK, N.J. —
He played for the Halifax Mooseheads and led them to the Memorial Cup championship. MacKinnon, who turns 18 Sept. 1, was named tournament MVP after scoring 13 points.
Next stop, Colorado?
"So proud to be part of the @Avalanche organization!!!" he tweeted to more than 45,000 followers.
That was just the start of a busy day at the home of the New Jersey Devils, who gave a jam-packed crowd a reason to cheer when the announced they acquired goaltender Cory Schneider, 27, from Vancouver. Schneider seems in line to be the eventual successor to Martin Brodeur, 41, in net.
The rest of the teams were busy planning their future through youth.
The Florida Panthers made center Aleksander Barkov, the top-ranked European skater, the second overall pick. Tampa Bay took forward Jonathan Drouin, also out of Halifax, with the third overall pick.
The Nashville Predators pounced on defenseman Seth Jones with the fourth overall pick. Jones, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound defenseman, was widely considered the top prospect. He was the top player on the NHL Central Scouting's final list of North American skaters.
He is the son of former NBA forward Popeye Jones. Popeye Jones paced the floor of the Prudential Center and said Seth slept great and was calm in the final hours leading up to the draft. But that had to change just a bit when Jones, who played for Portland of the Western Hockey League last season, slipped to fourth.
Carolina selected Elias Lindholm, who played in Sweden, fifth and the Calgary Flames followed with center Sean Monahan from Ottawa of the Ontario Hockey League.
After picking first the last three years, the Edmonton Oilers took defenseman Darnell Nurse, of Saulte Ste. Marie in the OHL, with the seventh choice. Nurse is the nephew of former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.