NHL Draft: Round 1 analysis

Nathan MacKinnon was the No. 1 overall selection by the Colorado Avalanche. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

NEWARK, N.J. -- The next generation of NHL stars takes the stage at Sunday's NHL draft. Insider's Grant Sonier and a special guest, former Maple Leafs scout Dave Starman, break down every first-round pick and where the prospects from this loaded draft class fit into each team's pipeline.

Follow us on Twitter (@NHLDraftBlog) for additional insights throughout the night.


Final Mock Draft | Top 50 Prospects


Nathan MacKinnon
Colorado Avalanche

TEAM: Halifax (QMJHL)
HT: 6-0
WT: 182

Pick analysis: MacKinnon is the pick and it's not hard to see why. Even among his peers at the top of his draft he stood out. MacKinnon has been my No. 1 choice from Day 1 and I have never wavered from that position. His dynamic speed and quickness are suited for the NHL and he will make an immediate impact next season. Elite qualities also include his vision, puck skills and competitiveness. A surefire star in the waiting. -- Grant Sonier

Team analysis: For the Avs, I think he'll contribute more on the offensive side than the defensive side. To get separation he plays under control. Well coached at Shattuck St. Mary's in all areas of the game, I'm looking for him to develop an edge. At times he reminds me of Derek Stepan. They had previously discussed using him at center and moving Ryan O'Reilly to the wing. We'll see if they stick with that plan. -- Dave Starman