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The Canucks saw the most promising material in the seventh round of the draft by McDonough

The Vancouver Canucks no longer have any blue chip prospects in their pipeline. 2020 first-round picks Vasily Podkorzin It was the last one, and he was only a few games away from getting rid of the “prospect” label. This leaves the uncertainty of late draft picks, which one day may or may not enter the NHL. One of them is the breakthrough star of the NCAA, Ai Danke Donner.

McDonough fell all the way in the seventh round of the 2019 draft and is now one of the best prospects for the Canucks. It can be said that only Mike DiPitro and Daniela Klimovich are behind the top three. This is either a complaint about the lack of depth in the prospect pool, or a strong support for McDonough.

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I tend to believe that it is the latter, because McDonough has developed by leaps and bounds since his draft year. His size, NHL-ready shots and deadly single shots can all take skills to a new level. His only major weakness is his skating, and with the help of the skating coach provided by Northeastern University, his skating has improved a lot this season. So, as his NHL debut may be just around the corner, let’s take a look at his hockey journey so far.

McDonough started his journey with Thayer College and the Cape Cod Whalers

McDonough started his hockey journey at Thayer College, a high school known for cultivating a fair share of NHL players, including Tony Amont, Jeremy Roenick, Brooks Orpik, Charlie Coyle and former Canuck Adam Gaudette. He divided his time between the AAA’s Cape Cod Whalers, scoring 76 goals and 160 points in 114 games. His best season was in his senior year, when he scored 25 goals and 59 points in 29 games.

Tony Almonte Chicago Blackhawks
Tony Amonte is another Thayer College graduate who has succeeded in the NHL (Getty Images North America)

McDonough’s time with the Whalers was also very successful because he surpassed one game in all but one season.During that time, he too Teammate of Canucks guard Jack RathbornIn fact, his father has been mentoring him for most of his childhood and adolescence. Therefore, it is not surprising that they become best friends.

In fact, his father guided me from first grade to high school, so for 12 years… Jack and I have been very close all my life, and he was one of the first people to text me after I was selected.

Jack Rasborn

McDonough ended his whaler career with 36 goals and 61 points in 59 games. After being selected by Cedar Rapids RoughRiders with the 166th overall pick in the 2016 U.S. Hockey League (USHL) draft, he moved the game to the USHL in the 2018-19 season.

The dominance of McDonough and Cedar Rapids in the USHL

McDonough played only one season in the USHL, but boy, it was a good season. In 50 games, he scored 21 goals and 42 points, and brightened the playoffs with 4 goals and 7 points in 6 games. He did his best to bring the RoughRiders to the conference finals, but in the end, it was not enough because they were eliminated by the always successful Chicago Steel team in four games.

Although McDonough did not win the Clarke Cup in his only season in the USHL, his performance caught the attention of the Canucks, who eventually selected him in the seventh round of the 2019 draft.

McDonough and the Northeast Huskies make their NCAA debut

McDonough devoted himself to the Northeastern University game in the 2019-20 season and made his NCAA debut in the game against Holy Cross Academy on October 19, 2019. He ended a meaningless game with 3 shots. Then, after just four games, he lost to the University of Massachusetts 4-2, scoring his first NCAA goal.

Aidan McDonough, NCAA, Northeast Huskies
Ai Danke Donner, Northeast Husky (Jim Pierce/Northeast)

McDonough had great success against former Canucks rookie Tyler Madden (Tyler Madden), who completed almost all the goals that season. By the end of his freshman year, he had scored 11 goals and 27 points in 31 games.

McDonough became the real deal without Madden

Many authorities believe that McDonough will take a step back without his super organizer by his side. It turns out that he doesn’t need Madden to score because he burst into tears during his sophomore season, scoring 10 goals and 20 points in 21 games. On February 13, 2021, when he performed his first NCAA hat-trick against the University of New Hampshire, half of these goals were scored in two games.

All goals are scored using his patented technology Start timing from the faceoff point, He has perfected over the years. His skating has also improved, which has been one of his weaknesses in the 2019 draft year.

McDonough is the scoring machine for the 2021-22 season

It didn’t take long for McDonough to start scoring again in the 2021-22 season. In fact, he scored the first goal of the year with only 8 points and 55 points in the first game. Then his second goal just 28 minutes later. By the end of the night, he had scored two goals in six shots, only eight goals short of his career high in his freshman year. In his first game, the same was true.

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The goal did not stop there, McDonough scored 9 goals in the next 12 games. At the time of writing, he has 11 goals in 14 games and is currently tied for second place in the NCAA with Cartersavat of the University of Denver. His next goal will set a career high.

Ai Danke Donner, Northeast Husky
Aidan McDonough, NCAA, Northeast Huskies (Jim Pierce / Northeastern)

McDonough scored six of his ten goals last season and only three this year. This means that he has eight goals and is of equal strength, which is an encouraging sign for the future. Becoming a strong game expert will only make you go further in the professional league. You must be able to score in 5 vs. 5. It’s great to see him adjust his game to score more points beyond the men’s advantage. If he can maintain this level of production, I won’t be surprised to see him nominated for the Hobby Baker Award at the end of the season.

McDonough’s future in the NHL

McDonough is 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighs 201 pounds, and has the size and physical fitness sufficient to compete in the NHL. He also has accurate wrist shots and deadly singles. Not to mention the infectious professional ethics and personality. The reason that prevented him from being selected higher than the seventh round was his skating. When the Huskies entered their junior season, he was keenly aware of this. so, He has a skating coach Help him reach a higher level of development.

Last summer for me was about getting stronger, faster, and getting into the weight room, and I think I took a step there. Then, this summer I have reached the point of maintaining and trying to be stronger and faster, but I want to be stronger on my edge. I want to be faster outside the penalty area and then faster in the corner, while being able to protect the puck and use my skating ability…

Ai Danke Donner in an interview with the Canadian Army

McDonough has the tools to become a very effective back six winger for the NHL. If his 5v5 offense is consistent, his size and physical fitness combined with his shots in power games can even push him into the top six.

McDonough’s remaining is to win the Hobby Baker Award and NCAA championship before the end of his college career. The Canucks should call him soon to sign an entry-level contract (ELC), because if he becomes a free agent, there will be many teams competing for his signature. He could also be their best prospect at the end of the season, ahead of names like Klimovic, Wu and DiPitro, all of whom have much higher draft picks. Not bad for a seventh-round pick, right?

Matthew Zator is a freelance writer, media editor and scout for THW. He is closely related to the Vancouver Canucks’ hockey, NHL draft and overall prospects. He likes to talk about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read book for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL draft and its prospects.For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts, which are listed under the photo at the end of the article It’s like this about Taylor Mort.


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