#1. Colorado Avalanche
Actual: Nathan MacKinnon
Re-Draft: Nathan MacKinnon
Colorado made the right pick back in 2013 when they selected MacKinnon first overall, as he would still be the number-one selection today.
After a good start to his career averaging 20 goals and 55 points per season, here’s what MacKinnon has done lately:
- 2017-18 Season: 39 goals, 97 points
- 2018-19 Season: 41 goals, 99 points
- 2019-20 Season: 35 goals, 93 points
Since Mikko Rantanen was injured for a majority of the season, MacKinnon finished the year with 43 more points than anyone else on his team. The former Calder Trophy winner will most likely be nominated for the Hart Trophy this year for the second time in three seasons, but with that substantial lead on his teammates, it wouldn’t be surprising if he received a few first-place votes.
Not only is MacKinnon one of the best players in the NHL, but he’s doing it making only (yes, only) $6.3 million per season.
The Avalanche lucked out when they signed him before he peaked and lucked out getting the number-one selection back in 2013.
#2. Florida Panthers
Actual: Aleksander Barkov
Re-Draft: Aleksander Barkov
Seven years later and the number-one and two selections will stay the same with MacKinnon and Barkov.
Barkov had an incredible 2018-19 season winning the Lady Byng trophy after having 35 goals and 96 points, while only registering eight penalty minutes.
Often compared to Anze Kopitar, which is huge praise, former Panthers G.M., Dale Tallon said that Barkov is the best 200-foot player in the NHL
As a centre, your defensive play is just as important as your offensive play, but there’s not a large percentage of players in the league that can be exceptional at both. Either you’re a really good shut-down defender, or you have the ability to score.
Barkov has both.
Since his third season in the NHL, Barkov has been much better than a point-per game player with 347 points in 293 games.
Although Barkov was widely considered the most underrated player in the NHL, I think that secret is out now, as he’ll be a Lady Byng and Selke Trophy nominee for the next decade, and could very well be a Hart Trophy candidate if he helps turn the Panthers into a perennial playoff team.