The Colorado Avalanche is in the beginning stage of contract negotiations with star center Nathan MacKinnon, TFP has learned.
MacKinnon, 20, is set to become a restricted free agent July 1 after his three-year, entry-level contract expires.
The Avs would like to get MacKinnon signed to a new contract, but it's unclear, at this stage, if they plan on signing him to a short-term deal or a multi-year, long-term agreement.
Contract talks are still preliminary, and should pick up in the coming weeks, as MacKinnon's agent, Pat Brisson, told TFP there wasn't much to report at this stage.
MacKinnon registered 21 goals and 31 assists for 52 points in 72 games with the Avs this season after a sophomore season in 2014-15 that saw him produce only 38 points in 64 games.
The Avs have gone in two different directions with their younger stars recently, signing captain Gabriel Landeskog to a seven-year, $39 million extension after his three-year, entry-level contract, while the team gave Matt Duchene a two-year deal after his entry-level contract before signing him to a five-year, $30 million extension.
Duchene and MacKinnon share the same agent.
In his first three seasons in the NHL, MacKinnon has accumulated 59 goals and 94 assists for 153 points over 218 games.
He was drafted first overall by the Avalanche in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, and won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the League's Rookie of the Year after his first season in 2013-14.