MacKinnon named Memorial Cup MVP

Aaron Vickers2013 Draft Center

He’s earned the hardware he set out to win, but 2013 NHL Draft eligible forward Nathan MacKinnon will have some extra carry-on to haul back to Halifax.

Scoring three goals and five points in the Halifax Mooseheads’ 6-4 Mastercard Memorial Cup clincher over the Portland Winterhawks, MacKinnon was awarded the Stafford Smythe Award as the tournament’s most valuable player.

“It’s obviously nice,” MacKinnon said. “It’s nice to be rewarded for the tournament but at the same time, the memories are going to be with these guys winning the Memorial Cup; not so much the individual (award).”

The 6-foot, 180-pound center had a remarkable tournament, recording 13 points en route to capturing major junior’s biggest prize. He was just three points from tying a Memorial Cup record despite playing just four games.

He saved his best for Seth Jones and the Winterhawks in the final.

Already with a  goal in the first period, MacKinnon twice gave Halifax some breathing room, first at 7:36 of the third to extend the Mooseheads’ lead to 4-2 and again with just 23 seconds remaining in the game to clinch the club’s first CHL title.

MacKinnon, who will contest Jones as the top pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, had seven goals and six assists in total at the Memorial Cup, the most since Christian Dube of the Hull Olympiques also had 13 in 1997.

With files from Zenon Herasymiuk