He may have went in the second round, but Halifax native Mason McDonald became the very first netminder selected at the 2014 NHL Draft.
The Calgary Flames took him 34th overall, and as just the fourth pick of the second round Saturday at the Wells Fargo Centre in Philadelphia, Penn. McDonald, 18, was ranked second among North American goaltenders by the Central Scouting Bureau going into this year’s entry draft.
McDonald split the 2013-14 season playing for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan and Charlottetown Islanders of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, due to a midseason trade.
He completed last season with a combined eight wins, 3.44 goals-against average and .900 save percentage.
“Ultimately our goalie list had Mason at the top. Our guys liked this guy, he was there, we made the pick,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said.
“We knew if we didn’t take him there that we didn’t have a chance to get him,” he added.
The six-foot-four, 185-pound goalie backstopped Team Atlantic in four of five games at the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, which included 31 saves against Slovakia in the red and white’s only win of the event.
He also won the gold medal with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament. – with files from The Canadian Press