Future Watch: Colin McDonald
26-year old Hartford native looks to earn an NHL contract in Oklahoma City
Colin McDonald (Photo by Steven Christy / OKC Barons).
Although the Oilers chose not to renew his services, McDonald remains in the farmland spotlight. After signing an AHL-level contract with the Oklahoma City Barons in the summer, McDonald entered the 2010-11 campaign fully aware of the impending challenges en route to his NHL dream.
Challenges aside, the situation has provided the scoring centre with an outstanding opportunity to return to the show. After enduring three consecutive losing seasons with the AHL’s Springfield Falcons in which the post-season was a distant dream, the atmosphere in Oklahoma City has delivered a new beginning for everyone.
"It's been great," said a revitalized McDonald. "I think a lot of the guys that played in Springfield the past couple years, everyone needed a change. Things didn't go well for the team and guys personally."
"Guys have been playing well, the team has been playing well, the coaches have been good. It's just been a complete 180 from my last three years in Springfield."
Possessing that turnaround mentality is part of McDonald’s character. While the atmosphere in Springfield was certainly draining, his inner drive to succeed helped him push beyond those losing limitations.
As McDonald expressed, the negative record induced an equally disappointing personal outlook; another speedbump in the already rocky professional road to his NHL destination.
"At this time the last couple years we've already been out of the playoff hunt and you're pretty much playing spoiler, which Edmonton's doing now. It's not fun."
"It's tough to get prepared every night. You're playing for nothing; you're playing for yourself pretty much at that point, just trying to get your resume up as much as possible heading into the off-season."
Personal gains and team success have helped to quell the negative vibes of past seasons, as McDonald and his teammates have fully embraced the recharged ambiance.
"The team's doing well, guys are having better years and everyone gets along. I think guys have been really happy."
The upbeat and overall positive environment has led to a more successful season, which has only further enhanced McDonald’s NHL aspirations. With 24 goals and 36 points currently highlighting his 2010-11 resume, the latter portion of the season will be an opportunity to further showcase his style to potential NHL suitors.
"My dream is still to play in the NHL. I expected things to go a little differently in the summer, but for whatever reason [Edmonton] chose not to sign me," said a reluctant McDonald. "I guess I'm playing with a little chip on my shoulder and trying to prove them wrong. I was their draft pick. For them to just kind of let me go, more or less, it rubbed me the wrong way."
"I'm playing for 30 teams. I'm trying to get that contract."
With the circumstances in mind, McDonald does his best to remain focused on the task at hand. His Barons club is currently positioned to make the post-season; an opportunity that the Hartford, CT native has not yet experienced in his professional career.
"I try not to worry about it too much. I just go back to having fun with the guys here and I have an opportunity to play a lot every night. I've been playing on a good line all year and things have been going well so far."
Although McDonald is looking to complete a successful season in Oklahoma City, his voyage at the minor league level is traveled with purpose. Through continued persistence and development in his game, Colin McDonald’s future as a professional targets an NHL career.
"You get a taste of it and you just try and do everything you can to get back there, so that's what I'm trying to do."
Author: Ryan Dittrick | edmontonoilers.com
2010-11 OILERS PROSPECT STATS
|19||49||5||10||15||-5||56||Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)|
|22||5||2||0||2||-2||0||OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS (AHL)|
|20||42||4||8||12||+4||4||Oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|18||57||12||28||40||+13||72||kootenay ice (WHL)|
|23||30||9||19||28||N/A||24||university of maine (h-east)|
|26||37||12||9||21||+2||82||stockton thunder (echl)|
|29||57||28||34||62||-1||53||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||51||21||50||71||+40||18||saskatoon blades (whl)|
|20||57||15||20||35||-3||27||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|20||32||7||13||20||N/A||31||quinnipiac university (ecac)|
|21||56||7||10||17||E||20||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||44||9||14||23||-5||32||timra ik (sel)|
|23||45||3||6||9||-6||14||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|18||54||31||44||75||+39||20||ottawa 67's (ohl)|
|26||57||24||12||36||+1||45||Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)|
|31||57||16||33||49||+4||24||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|23||42||2||19||21||+10||36||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|28||26||14||17||31||+7||32||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|28||57||5||12||17||-5||58||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|18||54||13||12||25||+11||27||edmonton oil kings (WHL)|
|19||53||24||35||59||+5||29||medicine hat tigets (whl)|
|19||37||9||13||22||-4||4||ilves tampere (fnl)|
|24||37||18||15||33||+14||16||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|24||52||6||7||13||-2||84||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|23||56||9||4||13||-14||34||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|25||39||3||17||20||-10||61||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|22||18||1||1||1||-1||45||stockton thunder (echl)|
|21||25||0||5||5||N/A||97||merrimack college (h-east)|
|18||32||3||28||31||+7||42||acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)|
|23||46||3||13||16||E||22||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||61||8||37||45||-5||59||regina pats (whl)|
|19||22||0||0||0||-12||30||sioux city musketeers (ushl)|
|18||56||13||39||52||E||55||prince george cougars (whl)|
|21||34||1||3||4||-7||30||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|28||43||0||11||11||+9||32||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|23||35||7||15||22||-3||18||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|21||54||1||10||10||+8||110||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|18||48||30||12||6||0||2.48||.918||medicine hat tigers (whl)|
|26||19||9||9||2||0||2.96||.902||Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)|
|36||34||19||12||3||0||2.49||.917||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|22||28||16||7||3||0||2.88||.898||stockton thunder (echl)|
|19||38||24||12||1||0||2.89||.907||acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)|