Jacob MacDonald found the spotlight in the American Hockey League during the 2017/18 season; Monday, the former Waterloo Black Hawk signed an NHL contract with the Florida Panthers.
MacDonald led all AHL defensemen in goals (20) and points (55) over 75 games with the Binghamton Devils last season. He skated in the 2018 AHL All-Star Game and was named to the 2017/18 AHL postseason First All-Star Team. It was MacDonald’s third full season of pro hockey, appearing in either the AHL or ECHL.
Before finding success in the professional ranks, MacDonald joined the Black Hawks in 2009/10 at age 16. Added to the roster at midseason, he scored four goals and contributed six assists in 29 games. The following year, he was Waterloo’s second-leading scorer with 30 points (eight goals, 22 assists) in 58 appearances. Three of his former 2010/11 teammates (Vinnie Hinostroza, Ian McCoshen, and Justin Kloos) played in the NHL last winter.
From Waterloo, MacDonald advanced to Cornell University and spent four seasons with the Big Red. During that time, he was in the lineup for 104 NCAA games, missing just one matchup between the start of his sophomore season and graduation. His initial pro experience came at the end of his senior year, when he signed with the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals.
Should MacDonald rejoin McCoshen in Florida next season, he would become the second Waterloo alumnus to take the ice for the Panthers. Last season, the Black Hawks set a team record as nine former players appeared in at least one NHL game. The group also included Joe Pavelski (San Jose Sharks), Craig Smith (Nashville Predators), J.T. Brown (Tampa Bay Lightning/Anaheim Ducks), Brandon Montour (Anaheim), Brock Boeser (Vancouver Canucks), Blake Hillman (Chicago Blackhawks), Hinostroza (Chicago), Kloos (Minnesota), and McCoshen.
Photo courtesy of Cornell University Athletics.
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