Nathan MacKinnon’s beginning seasons in the NHL weren’t easy. In the 2014-15 season, he only scored 38 points, and it wasn’t until the 2017-18 season he produced more points than games played. Now, he’s considered one of the best players in the world, with a recent playoff to remember.
MacKinnon scored 88 points in 65 games this winter’s NHL campaign. In the playoffs, he was the standout player with defenseman Cale Makar as the Avalanche ended a 21-year-long drought and won their first Cup since 2001.
MacKinnon scored the most playoff goals, and now, as he negotiates a new contract, many believe he will be the best-paid player in the NHL.
MacKinnon is simply a joy to watch, and that’s not just the opinion of fans and experts. It’s also the opinion of The Great One.
During the NHL Players Media Tour last week in Las Vegas, Nevada, MacKinnon was on the 32 Thoughts Podcast with Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman. He then revealed that he got a lot of compliments directly from Wayne Gretzky during the playoffs.
”The one that stood out for me was Wayne Gretzky. He texted me quite a bit actually, during the playoffs. That was fun,” MacKinnon said.
Friedmann asked MacKinnon if Gretzky reached out with any advice, but according to the Colorado star, it was nothing but praise.
”He just complimented me. That’s nice. I was like, ’Thanks, Wayne,’ like mister Gretzky… It’s crazy that you see Wayne Gretzky pop up on your phone. I’m like, ’Oh, is that actually real?’