Though he is only 17 years old, Nathan MacKinnon has been fielding comparisons to Sidney Crosby for years, but it’s not just the similarity in their playing style that has everyone talking.
Like the Pittsburgh Penguins captain, MacKinnon grew up in the small Nova Scotia town of Cole Harbour. He too played Bantam AAA for the Cole Harbour Red Wings (with seasons of 110 and 145 points respectively), and at age 15 – the same age as Crosby – MacKinnon enrolled in the famed hockey program at Shattuck-Saint Mary’s Boarding School in Faribault, Minnesota.
Following in the superstar’s footsteps, Nathan MacKinnon also opted to play in the Québec Major Junior Hockey League with the Halifax Mooseheads over playing college hockey, and is heading into his sophomore season with his first Team Canada gold medal (won at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial U18 tournament this August) under his belt and the tournament scoring title in hand.
There is one more – almost eerie – similarity between Crosby and MacKinnon; they are both lockout prospects. Sidney Crosby was drafted at the tail end of the NHL’s last labour stoppage in 2005 and if the NHL and the NHLPA don’t come to an agreement in a timely manner, Nathan MacKinnon – who is eligible for the draft in 2013 and is already predicted to go first over all – can too regretfully check off that stepping stone from Crosby’s path to success.