Mikko Rantanen enjoyed a breakout campaign as the Colorado Avalanche surprised many observers by reaching the playoffs for the first time in four years.
Now, the 21-year-old forward from Finland is hungry for more success.
“It was a good year for us,” Rantanen said to NHL.com. “I think nobody really expected us to be in the playoffs, first of all. We knew we had the potential to be there. Everything just went our way. …
“It gives us a lot of confidence for next year. We still have a really young group. It’s good.”
Rantanen took the league by storm with 84 points (29 goals, 55 assists) in 81 games in his second full season. That effort dwarfed his production from one season earlier, when he notched 38 points (20 goals, 18 assists) in 75 games.
Colorado surged in similar fashion, improving from 48 points (22-56-4) in 2016-17 to 95 points (43-30-9) in 2017-18. The Nashville Predators eliminated the Avalanche in six games in the first round of the playoffs.
Teammates insist that Rantanen has even more to offer next season.
“He’s absolutely amazing,” Avalanche forward Sven Andrighetto said to NHL.com. “We all knew before what he could do. He busted out this season, big time. He’s a really good friend of mine. We hung out a lot this year. He deserves all of it.
“There’s a lot more to come. He’s still really young.”
—Field Level Media