by Fitzgerald Cecilio

Newark, NJ

The Colorado Avalanche have selected Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon as top overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft Sunday at Prudential Center.

A 6-foot, 182-pound center, MacKinnon was the first player from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League selected first overall since the Pittsburgh Penguins selected Sidney Crosby with the No. 1 pick of the 2005 NHL Draft.

"It's amazing how things have worked out in my hockey career," MacKinnon said. "It's so exciting and hopefully it's just getting started. This is unbelievable, to be a part of the Colorado Avalanche. I can't wait to get to training camp.

"It's always been my dream to go No. 1 -- I'd be lying if I told you anything different. Obviously going up against a guy like Seth Jones is very motivating for sure, but my main goal is to win. This is crazy right now. This is unbelievable" he added.

However, MacKinnon's selection was overshadowed by New Jersey Devils' announcement that they have traded the ninth pick to the Vancouver Canucks for goaltender Cory Schneider.

[ More: Devils Trade Ninth Pick to Canucks for Goalie Cory Schneider ]

In his first season as a full-time starter in 2012-13, Schneider went 17-9-4 with 2.11 goals-against average and .927 save percentage. He now becomes the heir apparent to 41-year-old likely Hall of Fame member Martin Brodeur.

The Canucks used the ninth pick to acquire forward Bo Horvat, a center from the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.

"We wanted to get into the top 10 and be able to select a player like this," Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said. "To be able to move up and add this kind of young player to our organization was really important."

The Florida Panthers used the No. 2 pick to select Finnish center Aleksander Barkov, who recorded 48 points in 53 regular-season games with Tappara in SM-liiga, Finland's top professional league.

At No. 3, the Tampa Bay Lightning selected MacKinnon's Halifax teammate, Jonathan Drouin, who was second in the QMJHL with 105 points and won the league's MVP award as well as the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year trophy.

With the fourth pick, the Nashville Predators selected Seth Jones, who had 14 goals, 42 assists and a plus-46 rating in 61 regular-season games in his first season with Portland in the Western Hockey League

The Carolina Hurricanes used the fifth pick to get Swedish center Elias Lindholm , who had 30 points in 48 games with Brynas in the nation's top domestic league.

At No. 6, the Calgary Flames selected Ottawa 67's center Sean Monahan, the Edmonton Oilers selected Sault Ste. Marie defenseman Darnell Nurse at No. 7, and Finnish blueliner Rasmus Ristolainen went to the Buffalo Sabres at No. 8.

At No. 10, the Dallas Stars chose Russian forward Valeri Nichushkin while the Philadelphia Flyers picked 6-foot-6 Rimouski Oceanic defenseman Samuel Morin with the 11th selection.

Max Domi went to the Phoenix Coyotes (12th), Josh Morrissey was selected by the Winnipeg Jets (13th) and Alexander Wennberg was picked by the Columbus Blue Jackets (14th).

At No. 15, the New York Islanders acquired Ryan Pulock, the Sabres got Nikita Zadorov at 16th, Curtis Lazar went to the Ottawa Senators (17th) and Mirco Mueller landed with the San Jose Sharks at 18th.


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"Avalanche Pick Center Nathan MacKinnon as Number 1 Overall"