The Calgary Flames announced today that they have signed two of their top prospects to entry level contracts. Goaltender Mason McDonald and forward Hunter Smith have inked their three year contracts with the club.
McDonald was taken with the 34th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft. The 19 year old played last season with the Charlottetown Islanders in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He posted a 28-22-4, with a 3.06 goals against average and a .906 save percentage.
McDonald’s numbers won’t immediately jump off the page at you, but in the high scoring QMJHL, but his .906 SV% ranked second in the league. He was recently one of just three goaltenders invited to the Team Canada selection camp for the upcoming World Junior Hockey championships and has a real chance of being named the starter for the prestigious event.
McDonald will once again play next season with the Islanders, and will likely head to Stockton to play with the Heat in the 2016-17 season. He is still a few years away from playing with Calgary, but McDonald is a very promising prospect who could take over the Flames crease in the future.
Smith was taken in the same round of the 2014 draft, going twenty picks later with the 54th pick. The 19 year old is coming off a strong season with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6’6″ right winger scored 23 goals and 26 assists for 49 points in 57 games with the Generals.
Oshawa marched through the OHL Playoffs, winning the league championship title over Connor McDavid’s Erie Otters in the final. Smith had a very strong postseason, scoring nine goals and nine assists for 18 points in 21 games. The Generals not only won an OHL championship, but also hoisted the Memorial Cup trophy in May.
Smith was born in 1995, so he is eligible to play in the American Hockey League next season. He will in all likelihood suit up for the Stockton Heat next season, but will need a few years of seasoning before he makes his NHL debut. He has a lot of potential to be a power forward who chips in offense, but it will take a few years of polishing in the AHL before Smith is ready to skate in the best league in the world.
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