Here’s an indication of how far below the radar Alex MacDonald has flown for the Halifax Mooseheads: When his teammates informed him of an interview request at practice yesterday at the Metro Centre, he didn’t believe them.
Fair enough, Alex. The 17-year-old rookie defenceman hasn’t really done anything — for better or for worse — to warrant an interview. He’s not setting the world on fire offensively, yet he’s not committing any glaring turnovers.
In other words, he’s doing pretty much exactly what a rookie defenceman should be doing in the QMJHL.
“I was really nervous coming into training camp, but right off the bat, I started playing a fair bit,” said MacDonald. “I got my chances and things got better from there.”
MacDonald has eased himself into the league, appearing in 42 games and sitting as a healthy scratch for 17 others. He has no goals, five assists and is a minus-11.
The six-foot-four 183-pounder has shown good mobility and logs occasional time on the power play. And while it might be easy to get burned on a team struggling as much as the Mooseheads, MacDonald has been safe and steady.
“Hopefully he can learn from a year like this and use that experience for the future of this organization,” said Mooseheads captain Graham Bona. “He’s got really good potential and he could be a top defenceman in this league.”
The Moncton native has done what he can to ensure he’s a big part of the Mooseheads’ future on defence along with veteran anchors Gabriel O’Connor and Pascal Amyot.
His development will be critical next season with the graduation of 20-year-olds Bona and Justin Pender.
“I’m going to go back home and work hard this summer and try to get better,” MacDonald said. “Hopefully, next year, I’ll play in most of the games and get a regular shift.”