Avs sign first-overall pick MacKinnon

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Updated: 7/11/2013 3:02 pm

Denver, CO (Sports Network) - The Colorado Avalanche signed forward Nathan MacKinnon, the first overall pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, to a three-year, entry-level contract Tuesday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We are happy to have Nathan under contract and anxious to see him at training camp," said Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic. "His presence will bring additional speed and talent to our team, as well as a lot of excitement to our fans."

MacKinnon, 17, is the first player to be selected No. 1 overall by the Avalanche since 1991, when Eric Lindros was taken by the Quebec Nordiques. He is also the third 17-year old to be taken first overall since 1988, joining Sidney Crosby in 2005 and Joe Thornton in 1997.

"The signing of this first NHL contract represents for me another step towards becoming a professional hockey player," said MacKinnon. "I am excited and thrilled to have been drafted by the Avalanche, and I am already working very hard in order to be ready physically and mentally for training camp."

Last year, MacKinnon tallied 32 goals and 43 assists in 44 games for a powerhouse Halifax club. During the postseason, he had 11 goals and 33 points in 17 appearances, leading the Mooseheads to their first-ever Quebec Major Junior Hockey League title and first-ever Memorial Cup Championship.

He was named to the QMJHL Second All-Star Team and was voted the 2013 Memorial Cup most valuable player.

MacKinnon, who was born and raised in Halifax, also represented Team Canada at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, recording one assist in six games.

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