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Avalanche star rookie takes 'love tap' in rookie training camp

3:35 PM, Sep 10, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - He just turned 18 last week and what better way to celebrate than a whack to the face on the final day of rookie training camp.

"Just a love tap, I'll be OK," the Avs #1 draft pick Nathan MacKinnon said Tuesday.  "Luckily for my mom, my teeth aren't missing, she'll be happy about that for sure."

When asked if he is missing any teeth, MacKinnon replied: "Yeah, I have one, but it's back here," motioning to the back of his mouth, "and it's fake so nobody notices. It's a secret."

It's no secret McKinnon caught the eye of Avs boss Patrick Roy long ago when he faced Roy's teams in Canada.  McKinnon's being tapped to play center and will wear an unusual number on the ice: #29.

"I actually played with (numbers) 9 and 22 growing up as a junior," he explains.  "Twenty-two is taken here so, it might be a little cheesy,  but I figured I'd throw the two together.  Obviously it's kind of unique as well, it's kind of a goalie number but it's OK, I like it for sure."

It seems everything is new right now for MacKinnon: A new number, new team, new city... and football.

"It's a beautiful city.  I've been lucky enough to eat dinner downtown a few times and kind of get a feel for the city. I actually went to (my) first Broncos game last Thursday as well.  I've definitely been pretty luck and am enjoying my time for sure."

When asked if he was impressed with Peyton Manning's seven touchdown performance, MacKinnon answered:  "It was my first football game ever, so pretty special on to be at."

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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