Colin McDonald - Ready To Compete

Another summer of uncertainty will end in one hundred days when the doors to the Webster Bank Arena open for the start of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2012-13 season. A new season, a new head coach (yet to be announced) and a roster of players that will not be known until after the Islanders training camp has concluded in late September.

The Islanders have roster spots open at every position on the team and this years camp promises heated competition for each. While many questions remain, it is clear that the last few years of development are coming to a close.

One recent Islanders acquisition that will be competing for a roster spot is Colin McDonald. Born in Connecticut, he is 6-feet, 3-inches of talent ready to show he deserves a long look.(Photo:5of7's/flickr)

Colin’s father Greg was playing for the Hartford Whalers in 1984 when Colin was born. After retiring from hockey the family remained in CT and Colin began his hockey career playing in the EJHL with the New England Coyotes.

His success at the junior level was rewarded by a second round pick (Edmonton Oilers) in the 2003 NHL Entry Level Draft. He then went on to complete four years of education at Providence College before turning pro.

McDonalds’ typical three-year entry-level time spent with the Oilers’ AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons, can best be described as flat-line mediocre. Goals scored, 10 to 12, assists, 11 or 12, points either 22 or 23 in each year.

Before dismissing a second round pick, the Oilers gave him a two game call up in the last year of his ELD contract. He scored his first NHL goal on that brief call-up firing a wrister past Canucks’ goalie Roberto Luongo on the 28TH of November 2009 and he hasn’t stopped scoring since.

All at once, opportunities to score did not just arrive he created them. Space he found on the ice he gave to himself by developing a solid 'hockey sense', knowing where to be and when to be there. Finishing a shot or taking an advantage became second nature to him. He knew he was ready and he proved it.

The year 2010 found McDonald playing for the Oklahoma City Barons. He led the AHL in goals scored that year with 42, adding 16 assists in an 80 game season. Picked up by the Pittsburgh Penguins and assigned to their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre Scranton he posted 14 goals and 35 assists in 68 games as well as adding six goals and seven assists in the teams’ 12 game playoff run.

McDonald hasn't stopped scoring since his first NHL goal on Nov. 28, 2009 and he has shown the fight, desire and skill to prove it at the highest level. He is one of several newcomers to the Islanders, but he brings a raw talent and desire to succeed.

Remember the name, his story is yet to be written.

- Mike Flannery

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