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Canucks’ Zadorov thinks Nathan MacKinnon is the best player in the NHL

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Photo credit:© Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
29 days ago
The debate about the best player in the NHL can be a subjective one. While it’s easy to point out the answer as who has the most points, sometimes the person with that acumen does more than just produce.
Plenty of fans and members of the media will chime in on their picks for this distinction, but an intriguing perspective can come from an active player. And that was the case today when Nikita Zadorov spoke with the media ahead of the Canucks’ tilt against the Avalanche.
When asked about who the best player is between Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, and Nathan MacKinnon, Zadorov chose the latter.
Granted, Zadorov is a bit biased with his choice on account of being teammates with MacKinnon for five seasons. But he isn’t wrong in saying that the 2013 first-overall pick is the only one of three players listed earlier that has won it all so in his eyes that’s his choice.
This is not the first time Zadorov has given MacKinnon high praise as he drew parallels between the Halifax native and Michael Jordan in a Russian interview back in 2021 and reiterated his distinction of MacKinnon being the best player in a separate Russian interview back in September. It is certainly telling that Zadorov has stood firm on his choice despite being four years removed from his last game with the Avs.
Beyond being a Stanley Cup champion, MacKinnon also has more points than both McDavid and Matthews heading into tonight’s clash in Vancouver. MacKinnon currently is the NHL scoring leader with 113 points in 66 games and has a legitimate shot to capture both the Art Ross and the Hart Memorial Trophy by season’s end.
The Canucks will certainly have their work cut out for them if they wish to contain the best player in the world, according to Zadorov, but his time as a teammate of the Canadian forward certainly gives him knowledge on how to exploit his weaknesses.  Heading into tonight’s game, the Moscow native has recorded 14 points (three goals and 11 assists) in 60 games played this season.
The Canucks and Avalanche will square off tonight in Vancouver, where you can catch the action on Sportsnet Pacific with puck drop scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PST.

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