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Aidan McDonough Signs with Vancouver Canucks

It’s not often a seventh-round pick comes to the casual hockey fan’s attention. However, this is the Vancouver Canucks, and Aidan McDonough warrants the extra look. He was the team captain for Northeastern University in the NCAAs.

Aidan McDonough Signs

There is always some fear when a team doesn’t sign a college-age draftee right away. It is a relatively brief period of time – two years – before a drafted player can be a free agent. For college students, though, there is also a 30-day clock after they officially leave college.

There are other complications because nothing in hockey is easy. Generally, if a player is within spitting distance of free agency they can be tempted to try it on for size. Some players didn’t like the team that drafted them, others hope to reenter the draft.

Some may think they can get a better opportunity with a different organization. Vancouver, in a rare benefit of a shallow prospect pool, will provide McDonough with ample opportunity – and soon.

McDonough decided to remain at Northeastern University despite overtures from the Canucks to sign last year. The Huskies lost the Beanpot Tournament final and only made it to the semis in Hockey East in 2022. He was hoping to captain the team to some victories before concluding his college career.

While Northeastern got bumped from Hockey East early, they did bring home the Beanpot this year.

What He Brings

Aidan McDonough isn’t a small player, standing 6’2″ and 205 pounds, but is another winger added to a crowded position. What does make him stand out is a heavy shot that he loves using. It’s heavy and FAST. He’s ready to shoot at any time in pretty much any position.

McDonough finishes the 2022-23 season 24th in NCAA scoring with 20 goals and 38 points in 34 games. He has, according to the team, good defensive awareness – but if he can bring that and a scoring touch he’ll find a path to the NHL that much easier.

What can hold him back is his foot speed. He showed well at last year’s Canucks camp, but that’s a long way back from the NHL regulars. The team wants to see what he has after another year of working with skating coaches, but starting in Abbotsford is a virtual lock.

The bonus of college players is that they are physically mature by the time they reach the NHL. McDonough is 23 years old and unlikely to be intimidated by the pro leagues. And if he shows well, that might give the Canucks an extra incentive to move one of their other wingers out.

Main photo by: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

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