Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

Connor Mackey makes his NHL debut against Vancouver

Almost 11 months after he signed with the club, defenseman Connor Mackey will make his NHL debut tonight for the Calgary Flames against the Vancouver Canucks.

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Mackey, 24, is slated to skate on the left side on the third pairing, alongside fellow rookie Juuso Valimaki (who slides to the right side). He wears #3.

A product of Tower Lakes, Illinois, Mackey plied his trade as a youngster in American high school leagues and spent two seasons (2015-17) with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers. Undrafted, he opted to go to college, playing three seasons with the Minnesota State (Mankato) University Mavericks. He had a successful collegiate career, being named in succession to his conference’s all-rookie, third-team and first-team all-star teams during his tenure. (He was also a second team All-American in his junior year.)

The Flames signed Mackey back in March and he participated in their Phase 3 training camp during Return to Play, though he wasn’t eligible to play in the bubble tournament. He’s been on the Flames’ taxi squad since the beginning of this season and was tied for the club’s fourth-best prospect in FlamesNation’s annual off-season voting.