Nathan MacKinnon – profile

Mackinnon

In an earlier post on this site, we speculated about whether the Colorado Avalanche’s first overall pick in the 2013 entry draft would make the team right out of training camp as a young 18-year-old. Now, three games into the 2014 playoffs, not only has Nathan MacKinnon established himself as a leader with the Avalanche this season, he has now also emerged as a playoff scoring leader in his team’s first-round series against the Minnesota Wild.

MacKinnon was Colorado coach Patrick Roy’s first choice to draft #1 all along. Roy had coached against a 16-year-old MacKinnon and had seen him dominate games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League against NHL-bound players three years older. Now, in the NHL, MacKinnon has continued his explosive ways, scoring 63 points as a rookie.

The Avalanche have MacKinnon locked up for the next three years and are clearly expecting him to become a team and league leader.

Born: Halifax, Canada, 1995
Height/weight: 183 cm (6’0″) / 83 kg (182 lbs)
Position: centre
Previous team: Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL
drafted: 2013 by Colorado, 1st round (1st overall)

Lukas Podolski – profile

Lukas Podolski, striker

Lukas Podolski, striker

Lukas Podolski will be one of Germany’s on-field leaders - and this June, opposition defences will be hard pressed to contain him. Long the strike partner of Miroslav Klose, Podolski is a fast winger with a lethal shot who can also play as an attacking midfielder. He has been a prolific scorer since he first entered the Bundesliga with Koln at just 18.

  • Born: 1985, Gliwice, Poland
  • Height: 182 cm (6’0″)
  • Position: striker
  • Club team: Arsenal
  • National team: Germany, 2004-present

Beautiful Game post here.

Bastian Schweinsteiger – profile

Bastian Schweinsteiger - midfield

Bastian Schweinsteiger – midfield

At 29, Bastian Schweinsteiger is expected to dominate the midfield for Germany in 2014. He is a complete package, with very strong ball skills, vision, a hard outside shot, and tenacity in tackling. Schweinsteiger is a veteran of two World Cups and has over 100 caps for Germany with 23 goals. In South Africa, he served as Germany’s temporary captain and was named one of ten finalists for the Golden Ball award.

  • Born: 1984, Kolbermoor, Germany
  • Height/weight: 183 cm (6’0″)
  • Position: midfield
  • Club team: Bayern Munich
  • National team: Germany, 2004-present

Beautiful Game post here.