Nathan MacKinnon seems to want everything in a hurry. When he has the puck, it sometimes looks as if an egg timer is on his stick. He moves at warp speed, but as any great player will say: It was only when the game slowed down for them did they become great.

Having just turned 18, MacKinnon can afford some patience on the way to greatness. Despite some up-and-down moments in his rookie season with the Avalanche, he already qualifies as one of the most exciting and talented players at his age in Denver sports history.

Whether the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NHL draft will go down as a truly great player remains to be seen. But if anyone has a good chance, those who have already played with him say, it's him.

"He's got special talent. He's pretty big, plus he's so fast and skilled. He can become the total package," Avs winger P.A. Parenteau said.

Parenteau played on the same line with another former No. 1 overall pick, John Tavares, with the New York Islanders. Tavares was 19 when his career began in 2009, and he struggled mightily at times his first two seasons before everything slowed down for him, to where he is now considered one of the NHL's most dominant forwards.