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Avalanche 2023-24 Over/Under: Does MacKinnon Have Another Career Year In Him?

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MacKinnon Avalanche

Welcome to a brand new off-season series where we’ll take a look at a Colorado Avalanche player, a statistic, and try to gauge where they’ll land next year. Will they go over the set number? Or will they fall short?

Today’s number has to do with the superstar center on the Avalanche, and whether he can build off the best individual season of his career and perhaps surpass it.

Nathan MacKinnon Points In 2023-24: 111.5

Let’s start with this – the betting sites set one heck of a line here.

MacKinnon scored 111 points last year in 71 games. In the prior three seasons he failed to stay healthy (plus COVID hit), but you know what he was on pace for (over 82 games) in those three seasons?

111, 111, and 110 points.

So yes, these companies know exactly what they’re doing.

We’ll begin with age. MacKinnon will turn 28 right before training camp starts. There’s no reason to expect any sort of big decline next year, so we’ll toss that aside. Bettors might like merkur x tip.

Next up, we’ll look at what MacKinnon did last year, because it was quite remarkable. As I mentioned when discussing Mikko Rantanen’s projected goal total next year, the best part of what those two did last season is that they spent a good chunk of the season on different lines. Will that happen again next year? I’d like to think the Avalanche want a finisher like Rantanen to play with Ryan Johansen, but we all know Rantanen and MacKinnon will end up together a lot.

At 5v5, no one was better than MacKinnon. His points-per-6o was the highest of his career at even strength, and he was very strong on the powerplay as well. That 3.28 points-per-60 number is something Connor McDavid has only achieved once in his career at even strength, so that just tells you how special MacKinnon was last year.

Do I think he can do it again? I don’t want to bet against Nate, but that’s a lofty number to aim for. My gut says he’ll fall back around his average the last few years, which is around 2.9, and that’s still incredibly good. If he does that, you have to knock a few points off.

One other thing we need to talk about is ice-time. I mentioned this with Rantanen, but in an ideal world, MacKinnon doesn’t play as much as he did last year. It’s not that he can’t do it, but you don’t want to have to depend on him that much in the regular season when the goal is to play into June. MacKinnon averaged about 1:15 more per-game than the year before. If you can get him back down to his ice-time from 2021-22, you feel better in the long run, but that likely hurts his individual numbers.

And finally…health. MacKinnon hitting 111 points last year was wild because he only played 71 games. The last three seasons, MacKinnon has missed a chunk of the season due to injury. Could that stop next year? Absolutely, but given the last few years, it’s probably safe to assume he’ll miss a few games here and there.

Evan’s Prediction: The Under

This might rattle some fans, but I’ll take the under here. It really just comes down to me expecting him to play less each night, and miss a few games on top of that. MacKinnon is a monster, but if he ends up seeing his ice-time drop, that probably means good things for the Avalanche. It means the depth on this team has improved, and the staff feels more comfortable spreading out the tough minutes. This will be close, because MacKinnon has been remarkably consistent with his points production of late, but I’m going with under.

Where does everyone stand on this? I’ve had plenty of people tell me they think MacKinnon is taking home the Hart next year, so I have a feeling I’ll be in the minority here.

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