Halifax Mooseheads’ Nathan MacKinnon, on being in the spotlight: ‘I’ve autographed a few foreheads’

Buzzing The Net

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Nathan MacKinnon seems to wear it well.

A script about a hockey phenom starring for his hometown Halifax Mooseheads and teaming up with fellow prodigy Jonathan (Jo) Drouin to bring a MasterCard Memorial Cup to a championship-starved fanbase would probably get rejected for being too good to be true. Yet MacKinnon, whose perks of fame included dabbling in acting, pulled it off with aplomb. In interviews, the 17-year-old centre who will likely be the youngest player in the National Hockey League come October was unfailingly engaging, finding a balance between youthful enthusiasm while being confident enough to joke around with journalists sometimes twice his age.

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So in light of that, BTN sat down with NHL Central Scouting Service's second-ranked North American prospect to interview him about his interviews, and some other stuff. Here's a transcript:

BTN: "What do you recall most vividly about the Mooseheads' victory parade on Tuesday?"

NM: "I remember walking down the hill and seeing screaming fans and being overjoyed by that. It’s pretty cool to be welcomed back like that."

BTN: "How old were you the first time you were interviewed as a hockey player? How long did it take to get used to it?"

NM: "Twelve or thirteen. It didn’t take too long. It’s really cool, being a kid, being interviewed, right?"

BTN: "Something that seems to stand out from when I've heard you do interviews is you often steer an answer around to another player. Today when the media were asking you, Jo and Seth about the Memorial Cup you were quick to remind everyone, 'hey, Seth’s team won the world junior.' Is that something you were told to do, always mention other people and share the spotlight?"

NM: "For sure. I really appreciate what other people have done for me. At the same time, there’s so many great players, there’s not just me. With Seth, he beat me there (when Team USA won the world junior gold medal in January), I beat him there (Memorial Cup)."

BTN: "The inspirational video the Mooseheads watched before the final, did you remember the specific movie quotes that were used?"

NM: "I just remember the tone and the mood. It got us pretty excited. We had a great start to the game (taking a 3-0 lead and going on to win 6-4). That stuff was a big reason why."

BTN: "Was that a pretty typical tactic for Dom (Mooseheads coach Dominique Ducharme)?"

NM: "We did it before every Game 1. Last game of the year, so we needed to do something special."

BTN: "Anyone ever ask you to autograph an unusual item?

NM: "Their face. I've autographed a few foreheads."

BTN: "Did that only happen once?"

NM: "More than you’d think. You’d be surprised by the age. I get a few 20-year-olds who want their foreheads signed."

(Below, MacKinnon and former Moosehead Cameron Critchlow, now a forward for the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds, make their acting debuts on CBC's Mr. D.)

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to btnblog@yahoo.ca.

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