Mikko Rantanen was selected 10th overall in the 2015 NHL entry draft by the Colorado Avalanche. 2015 was a deep draft with McDavid and Eichel leading the charge. The Colorado Avalanche did very well by selecting Mikko. Mikko stands 6’4″tall and weighs in at a strong 215 pounds.
Mikko had a stellar stat line last season, producing 29 goals and 55 assists for 84 points, a 48 point increase over the previous season. His production came on a line centered by Mackinnon with Landeskog on the opposite wing. The trio formed the second best line in hockey, second only to Smith, Marchessault and Karlsson in Las Vegas. Mackinnon should have won the Hart Trophy but suffered the Eastern bias vote that has become all too typical lately. Eastern media really needs to watch some West Coast games so they can gauge who is the best player in the league.
Rantanen benefited by playing with Mackinnon but he wasn’t any slouch on that line. If there is one thing that Mikko could do better, that would be to throw his weight around a little more. He dished out just 32 hits last season. He would gain puck possession more and therefore produce even more. He could stand to play better in the defensive zone too, even Mackinnon could do more of that as their line wasn’t all that good in their own zone. Once they gained puck control they were invincible in the offensive zone.
“Mikko’s another guy with a great skill set, a big-bodied guy who can skate and make plays,” said coach Jared Bednar. “Him, Nathan and Landeskog have really formed a good bond on and off the ice. Second year in the league, he knows what to expect. He came out to a bit of a slow start but he really found his stride lately because of his work ethic and commitment to play the right way.”
Expect more of the same for the MGM line again for the 2018-19 NHL season.