Nikita Zadorov throws shade at Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews

Are you with him on this one?



There is no doubt in anyone's mind that Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid and Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews are two of the top players in the game today, and easily the most valuable players on their respective teams. 

But if Vancouver Canucks defenseman Nikita Zadorov had to start his own team from scratch, he would take someone else as his franchise cornerstone. According to Zadorov, Nathan MacKinnon would be the one to start with, and had a very simple reason as to why.

"If I were to build a team, I would build around (MacKinnon) over those other two guys," he said. "Because he's a winner. He won the Stanley Cup."

Neither McDavid nor Matthews has appeared in a Stanley Cup Final, while MacKinnon was able to help guide the Avalanche to the hockey mountaintop in 2022, the team's first championship since 2001. 

However, MacKinnon is also simply playing on another level right now, having already scored 41 goals with 72 assists this season, 10 points ahead of McDavid. And while Matthews is the NHL's leading goal scorer with 54, MacKinnon is still 33 points ahead of him. 

All three players that Zadorov discussed are worthy foundational cornerstones that nearly every other NHL club would do almost anything to have suit up for them. But what MacKinnon is accomplishing right now is something special, and the fact that he also has a Stanley Cup ring on his finger doesn't hurt. 

Zadorov recorded an assist last night against the Avalanche, who defeated the Canucks by a 4-3 score in overtime. The aforementioned MacKinnon continued his scoring ways, registering a goal and an assist.

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Source: Sportsnet