Who said it was going to be tough for first round draft picks this year? Because whomever said that.. well you were right with third overall pick Jonathan Drouin of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who was sent back to juniors, but in the case of the top 2 overall picks, Nathan MacKinnon and Alexsander Barkov? Well you are foolish! Foolish I tells ya.
MacKinnon, drafted first by the Colorado Avalanche, provided two assists for Jamie McGinn’s pair of goals, in their 6-1 victory of the Anaheim Ducks. MacKinnon had 15 shifts for 15:31 ice time. There was also a bit of a ruckus between new Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy, and several Anaheim Ducks, including head coach Bruce Boudreau and star player Corey Perry.
Aleksander Barkov, drafted second by the Florida Panthers, scored the Game-Tying Goal in their 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars. Assisted by Tom Gilbert and Jonathan Huberdeau, Barkov had more shifts than MacKinnon with 21, but only played three more seconds (15:34) of ice time.
Other notables include fourth overall pick Seth Jones had a +2 in Nashville’s 4-2 defeat by St. Louis, eighth overall Rasmus Ristolainen ended with a -1 in Buffalo’s 2-1 defeat by the Detroit Red Wings, and tenth overall Valeri Nichuskin played on Dallas’ third-line with Shawn Horcoff and Vernon Fiddler, also ended with a -1 in their 4-2 loss by the Florida Panthers.