Anderson MacDonald Scouting Report: 2018 NHL Draft #76

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Anderson MacDonald
GATINEAU, CANADA - NOVEMBER 1: Anderson MacDonald #91 of the Moncton Wildcats skates against the Gatineau Olympiques on November 1, 2017 at Robert Guertin Arena in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

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Coming into the season Anderson MacDonald looked like a sure-fire first-round prospect, and even a potential lottery pick. However, things did not go well for the Saint John, New Brunswick native. MacDonald put up 29 goals and 41 points in 50 games in his rookie season with the Sherbrooke Phoenix. He was named to the QMJHL all-rookie team and things were looking up. However, he was traded in the off-season to the Moncton Wildcats and never seemed to hit his full potential. MacDonald put up 27 goals and 18 assists for 45 points in 58 games this year. Things really fell apart in the playoffs, as MacDonald had just one goal and one assist for two points in 12 games.

MacDonald has played for Canada in a number of tournaments. At the Under-16 level, he participated in the Youth Olympic Games, scoring one goal and one assist in six games, and winning a silver medal. He also played at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, scoring two assists in six games. MacDonald was also part of the Team Canada squad that won a gold medal at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka tournament, scoring one goal and one assist in the five-game tournament.

Anderson MacDonald Scouting Report

Left Wing — shoots Left
Born May 16 2000 — Saint John, New Brunswick
Height 6’2″ — Weight 205 lbs [188 cm / 93 kg]

Skating

MacDonald’s skating is a bit of a work in progress. He has good balance and lower body strength, making him hard to knock off the puck. He also is good at battling for pucks in the corners and fighting for position in front of the net. MacDonald also has decent agility. He can maneuver in and out of traffic both with and without the pick. However, he can work on lengthening his stride and improving his speed and acceleration. His first step also needs a bit of work.

Offensive Game

MacDonald is very good in front of the net. He has the quick hands to beat goalies in tight, as well as to get off one-timers. He also has the hand-eye coordination to tip in point shots. MacDonald has a strong wrist shot and can score from further out. His snapshot is also powerful and accurate. Both shots feature an excellent release. He is very smart and can find openings in the defence in order to get open for teammates. He is also a decent passer.

The issue is that MacDonald does not always seem to be fully engaged. He can take shifts off and float around the offensive zone. There are times where he is a dominant power forward. There are other times where he is completely invisible. MacDonald needs to show a commitment to forechecking, battling on the boards, and going to the dirty areas of the ice. This lack of commitment has been the biggest reason for his fall down the draft rankings.

Defensive Game

MacDonald’s defensive game also suffers from the lack of commitment. There are times when he gets caught puck watching, not moving his feet, and loses his man. He needs to be better in his positioning and using his size to cut down passing and shooting lanes. He can also be effective in supporting the defence down low and battling along the boards. MacDonald has the potential to be a good defensive player, but there are big strides that he needs to take.

Projection and Comparison

MacDonald is a major boom or bust prospect. The offensive skills are certainly there, and he has potential to be one of the best goal-scoring power forwards in this draft. However, there is a big risk that he will never reach that level. The lack of work ethic is concerning, especially given that there are major weaknesses in his game that must be improved. Whatever team drafts MacDonald will have a huge project on their hands, but one that could be worth the effort if they unlock the potential here. MacDonald’s game can be similar to Wayne Simmonds when he is at his best. This is a stylistic comparison only though, not one based on potential or ability.

Highlights

The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Anderson MacDonald that are available on youtube.

Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

GATINEAU, CANADA – NOVEMBER 1: Anderson MacDonald #91 of the Moncton Wildcats skates against the Gatineau Olympiques on November 1, 2017, at Robert Guertin Arena in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

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