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FUTURE WATCH
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Future Watch: Colin McDonald

26-year old Hartford native looks to earn an NHL contract in Oklahoma City

Thursday, 24.02.2011 / 5:25 PM / Future Watch
By Ryan Dittrick  - edmontonoilers.com
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Future Watch: Colin McDonald
Colin McDonald (Photo by Steven Christy / OKC Barons).

VIDEO
Selected in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, 26-year old forward Colin McDonald attempted to the climb the ranks in the Edmonton Oilers organization for six years before being cut loose this past off-season.

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

Forwards
Name Age GP G A PTS +/- PIM Team
Cameron Abney   19 49 5 10 15 -5 56 Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
mark arcobello
22 5 2 0 2 -2 0 OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS (AHL)
Alexander Bumagin   23 39 6 5 11 -9 24 Novokuznetsk (KHL)
Philippe Cornet   20 42 4 8 12 +4 4 Oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Drew Czerwonka   18 57 12 28 40 +13 72 kootenay ice (WHL)
Robby Dee   23 30 9 19 28 N/A 24 university of maine (h-east)
Jesse Gimblett   26 37 12 9 21 +2 82 stockton thunder (echl)
Alexandre Giroux   29 57 28 34 62 -1 53 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Curtis Hamilton   19 51 21 50 71 +40 18 saskatoon blades (whl)
Teemu Hartikainen   20 57 15 20 35 -3 27 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Kellen Jones   20 32 7 13 20 N/A 31 quinnipiac university (ecac)
Milan Kytnar   21 56 7 10 17 E 20 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Anton Lander   19 44 9 14 23 -5 32 timra ik (sel)
Matt Marquardt   23 45 3 6 9 -6 14 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ryan Martindale   18 54 31 44 75 +39 20 ottawa 67's (ohl)
Colin McDonald   26 57 24 12 36 +1 45 Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)
Brad Moran   31 57 16 33 49 +4 24 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ryan O'Marra
23 42 2 19 21 +10 36 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Linus Omark  *
28 26 14 17 31 +7 32 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ben Ondrus   28 57 5 12 17 -5 58 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Kristians Pelss   18 54 13 12 25 +11 27 edmonton oil kings (WHL)
Tyler Pitlick   19 53 24 35 59 +5 29 medicine hat tigets (whl)
Toni Rajala   19 37 9 13 22 -4 4 ilves tampere (fnl)
Liam Reddox *
24 37 18 15 33 +14 16 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Gregory Stewart   24 52 6 7 13 -2 84 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Chris Vande Velde   23 56 9 4 13 -14 34 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Defencemen
Name Age GP G A PTS +/- PIM Team
Shawn Belle 
25 39 3 17 20 -10 61 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Jordan Bendfeld   22 18 1 1 1 -1 45 stockton thunder (echl)
Kyle Bigos   21 25 0 5 5 N/A 97 merrimack college (h-east)
Jeremie Blain   18 32 3 28 31 +7 42 acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)
Taylor Chorney *
23 46 3 13 16 E 22 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Brandon Davidson   19 61 8 37 45 -5 59 regina pats (whl)
Troy Hesketh   19 22 0 0 0 -12 30 sioux city musketeers (ushl)
Martin Marincin   18 56 13 39 52 E 55 prince george cougars (whl)
Johan Motin   21 34 1 3 4 -7 30 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Richard Petiot   28 43 0 11 11 +9 32 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Jeff Petry
23 35 7 15 22 -3 18 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Alex Plante   21 54 1 10 10 +8 110 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Goalies
Name Age GP W L T SO GAA PCT Team
Tyler Bunz   18 48 30 12 6 0 2.48 .918 medicine hat tigers (whl)
Jeff Deslauriers   26 19 9 9 2 0 2.96 .902 Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)
Martin Gerber
36 34 19 12 3 0 2.49 .917 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Bryan Pitton   22 28 16 7 3 0 2.88 .898 stockton thunder (echl)
Olivier Roy   19 38 24 12 1 0 2.89 .907 acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)


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