Flames Take Mason McDonald at 34th Overall

The Calgary Flames kicked off Day Two of the 2014 NHL Draft with their 34th overall selection, taking goalie Mason McDonald.

McDonald split last year between the Acadie-Bathhurst Titan and the Charlottetown Islanders of the QMJHL, and he’s the first goalie taken in the 2014 Draft. He went 8-15-3 with a 3.55 GAA and a .900 save percentage. Granted, neither of his teams are Q giants quite yet He’s 6’4″ and 186 pounds, and a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia – very close to where Joey MacDonald is from in Pictou, Nova Scotia! He’s a later birthday, turning 18 just this past April, so he has two years of QMJHL eligibility left. And then a potential over-age year.

McDonald was really good at the Top Prospects Game, in a format that really doesn’t invite great performances from goalies, giving up a single goal in the shooting gallery. He was Team MVP for the bronze medal-winning U18 Team Canada team. He also was at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament as a back-up. Scouting reports say he’s a good butterfly goalie with potential.

A little early for a goalie, especially with the potential volatility in that position. I expected them to take one later on. But hey, now they have another long-term goalie prospect in the pipeline. Hockey Prospects had him rated 31st overall, Future Considerations had him 33rd, and Central Scouting had him as the 2nd-best North American goalie.

  • Howie Meeker

    Not really what I was expecting…however we all know that this is the most important position in the game and looking at what LA has done with great goaltending a solid pickup for our flames.

  • Tenbrucelees

    If I remember right from the Top Prospects game he was the best goalie by far in an offensive game. I always feel a little weary about drafting goalies high (especially after Irving looked like a sure fire pick) but they obviously saw something they really liked in him. Good build for a goalie too. I was disappointed we didn’t pick up Bennett’s teammate McKeown… until I saw how many other teams decided to pass on him as well. Maybe there’s something people didn’t see at the combine? His ranking has fallen right off since mid-season.

  • goalies drafted from the q with a 905 or lower from 2010-2000: 29. goalies with nhl gp: 6. avg nhl gp, entire group: 11. avg. nhl gp, only those 6: 51. the goalies are, in order of non-badness: jake allen (15), pascal leclaire (173), kevin poulin (49), drew macentyre (6), jeff drouin-deslauriers (62) and jeremy duchene (1). yeah, great gamble at that spot. jesus.

    • And yet you yourself said that “goalies are voodoo” and “no one on the planet really knows how goalies go”…. Your credibility therefore goes out the window when you say that he “sucks” and will never amount to anything at the pro level.

      You don’t know how he will develop or what he will turn into, so why not try and remain optimistic. I would have preferred a Dman at the 34 pick, but I remain optimistic about this pick based on the following:

      1) I’m not a professional and I don’t watch these kids live. I trust the guys who make a living doing this.

      2) I’ve heard this draft is not at all deep so it seems like a good draft to take a goalie early.

      3) Two goalies went right after Macdonald, and he was the second ranked goalie in this draft so it’s EXTREMELY likely he wouldn’t even have made it to our next pick.

      4) The team needs help on D. Management knows this. I see them addressing this in FA or via trade in the offseason and as such, I will reserve judgement on them taking a goalie before a dman until I see how that plays out. Besides, maybe they didn’t like any of the dmen still left available? If thats the case but they really liked this goalie, then i am fully onboard with them taking him.

  • My guess is the Flames had Barbashev & Hawyrluk ahead of McDonald and when they went he was next on their list.

    Would have liked to see a skater with their high 2nd, but we don’t know the whole story or if he would have been there much longer. 5 goalies went in the second round.

  • DragonFlame

    While I would have preferred to see the Flames address their goaltending needs via the UFA market or trades, McDonald was getting pasted with 40 plus shots a night on a pretty terrible team.

    I haven’t been enamored with the Flames’ scouting staff in years, but all we need are two picks out of this year’s draft and no one will remember the other four picks and the trade for Bollig.

    Last season was a bad year to be bad. The draft class was fairly weak and the UFA’s hitting the market are uninspiring.

  • sorry but the whole “a team of highly experienced scouts” picked this guy isn’t really an argument at all. 1. You assume that the group of highly experienced scouts are good at evaluating talent. So far there is no evidence to support that claim given our scouting staff in Calgary hasn’t really proven that. All you need to do is look at how crap we’ve been at drafting over the last 35 years. They’ve let the team down on numerous occasions prior to the Feaster/Wisebrod regime. And under F/W they still made some highly controversial selections. Although I will admit last years draft I thought they did the best job they’ve ever done.

    2. There are 29 other teams with highly experienced scouts who didn’t pick any of these kids. Hm 1 versus 29…hmm head scratcher

    in defence of Justin, like I, neither of us are attacking or blaming the kid drafted. I think we all want to see the kids prove us all wrong and become good players. The problem here is the stats/numbers/projections don’t suggest that.

    It’s the managements decision and choices of selection at the time they selected them that I question. Why select a goalie at 34 when there’s still a group of BPA who would have had a better chance to succeed in the NHL down the road? Especially considering if this goalie was the goalie you were set on drafting he’d have been available with your second 2nd rd pick or even first 3rd. These decisions are critical to drafting in it self. I am even less concerned with the players chosen as I am with the decisions to chose them when they did. That’s on the management.

    The only stats the guys who make these decisions cared about for the second round on was 6’0+ 200+ lbs and that is a frightening thought for the future of this organization. Lets keep in mind the most successes we’ve had with drafting so far have been TJ Brodie, Gaudreau, Wotherspoon, Granlunds etc. Kids that have good stats but are kinda under the “eye test” method of scouting radar. WHY not stick with that?

    the fact is projections are there for a reason because you know a bunch of people smarter than I have dedicated their lives to analyzing data and trends in drafting nhl prospects and those trends usually hold true with the exceptional outlier of course.