Nathan MacKinnon is looking for his first career Art Ross Trophy

Nathan MacKinnon is looking for his first career Art Ross Trophy right now.

Mar 2, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) waits for a
Mar 2, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) waits for a / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has been toying with opposing goaltenders since his first NHL season in 2013-14.

While he has dominated the score sheet since he first stepped on the ice, he has yet to win the Art Ross Trophy which is presented to the top scorer of the league. Will this be the year he gets it done or will it be another top-10 finish?

Drafted first overall in the 2013 NHL Draft, MacKinnon burst onto the scene as a player who could take the league by storm offensively. He was coming off a successful career in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), producing 63 goals and 90 assists for 153 points in 102 games.

He combined with current Avalanche teammate Jonathan Drouin to become one of the most lethal one-two punches that the league had ever seen.

Nathan MacKinnon has been an elite NHL player for a long time now

MacKinnon went on to win the 2013-14 Calder Trophy after having 24 goals and 39 assists for 63 points in 82 games. It only took one season but he was determined to become the best player in the entire league.

His elite offense helped the Avalanche win the Stanley Cup in 2022, in which he contributed 13 goals and 11 assists for 24 points in 20 playoff games and was a +11.

MacKinnon has always been a gifted scorer in every league he has played. Since the 2015-16 season when Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid made his NHL debut, he has been overshadowed by the Oilers star.

MacKinnon is as offensively gifted, as quick on his skates, and has the same leadership qualities as his superstar counterpart. He also has a Stanley Cup to his name but McDavid does not.

Regardless of how productive MacKinnon is in the offensive zone, he has never won the top award for the league's best scorer. This is largely due to the same offensive success that McDavid has had, as he always seems to be just points ahead of the Colorado star every season,

This season is no different as MacKinnon is once again one of the top scorers in the league. He is second overall in points to Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov.

MacKinnon, who has three goals and six assists for nine points in his last five games, has 44 goals and 78 assists for 122 points and is a +30 in 70 games. Kucherov has 41 goals and 82 assists for 123 points and is a +6.

MacKinnon had an NHL-high 19-game point streak from November 20-December 27, 2023, producing 36 points (13 goals and 23 assists) while Colorado went 10-6-3 and has the second most points in franchise history.

He is two points ahead of Joe Sakic, who had 120 points in 1995-96 and is 17 points behind Peter Stastny, who holds the record for most points in Colorado Avalanche/ Quebec Nordiques history.

If MacKinnon does win his first Art Ross Trophy, he will be the second Avalanche player to win the award. Peter Forsberg won the award in the 2002-23 season when he scored 29 goals and 77 assists for 106 points.

MacKinnon has gone the entire season without linemate and left winger Gabriel Landeskog. He has been out of action since May 10, 2023, when he had cartilage transplant surgery on his right knee.

He was ruled out for the regular season but could be available for the playoffs. Drouin, his former teammate in Halifax, has taken Landeskog's place on the top-lines left side.

MacKinnon has been nothing short of consistent in his offensive production since his NHL debut. He routinely makes defenses look bad because of his speed and tremendous skill in the offensive zone.

He is one point behind Kucherov for the points lead in the league and is on a hot streak, averaging close to two points per game over his last five games.

If Kucherov goes cold in production, MacKinnon could close in on his first Art Ross Trophy. He has all of the tools to keep this streak going and is on the right team to keep producing.