2013 NHL Draft Battle for First Overall: MacKinnon vs. Jones
Nathan MacKinnon vs. Seth Jones, Battle for Number One!
By Matthew Burnside (@MattBTHG)
With the first selection in the NHL Draft, the Edmonton Oilers selected Nail Yakupov. Yakupov is an elite offensive talent coveted as the clear-cut number one selection in this year’s draft. The Edmonton Oilers have been fortunate enough to select first overall for the last three years, obtaining the likes of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Yakupov.
So the question now is, who is next year’s number one pick? With the road to New Jersey only beginning, two prospects have already emerged as possible first overall selections: Seth Jones and Nathan MacKinnon.
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Nathan MacKinnon is one of the best prospects to ever come out of the QMJHL since Sidney Crosby. MacKinnon is often compared to Crosby as they have taken a similar route on their road to the NHL draft. They each attended the same school in Shattuck St. Mary’s, before making their way to the QMJHL. The pressure of being compared to an elite hockey player can become a huge burden. Although there are similarities, Nathan has his own unique style.
Nathan is a dynamic offensive force who can generate top speed in a couple of strides. He is shifty with a quick stick that makes it extremely difficult on opposing defenders. Nathan is physically mature and has a good hockey sense. With only one year under his belt in the QMJHL, Nathan has managed 78 points in only 58 games. Nathan not only played well in his first season of major junior, but also appeared dominant in many occasions. Nathan has appeared in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge twice, CHL Subway Super Series, and was talked about for receiving a World Junior invite as an underage player.
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On the other hand, Seth Jones, the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones, is shaping into a top shutdown defensemen. Seth is listed at 6’3, 200lbs. He has played two years for the U.S National Team Development Program and was selected to the World Juniors as a 17 year old. Not many imagined Jones would make the team, but after a solid tryout, Jones was the youngest defensemen to suit up for USA last winter.
During the World Juniors, Jones suffered an upper body injury which sidelined him for the rest of the tournament. Seth posted 8 goals and 23 assists in 52 games. Seth has decided to to suit up for the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL for the upcoming 2012-2013 season.
Seth has good size and makes it extremely difficult for forwards with his long reach. Seth is a physical specimen with a smooth skating ability, great agility, and an extremely good hockey sense. It is still a long road to the next year’s draft, but 2013 should boast a strong draft class. Nathan and Seth will make it difficult on any NHL franchise selecting at the number one spot.