Islanders Award Andrew MacDonald with an A

When the Islanders called Andrew MacDonald’s name in the 6th round of the 2006 NHL Draft, they had high hopes for the defenseman out of Judique, Nova Scotia. Now as the 2013-14 season rolls around, the Islanders have awarded the hard working MacDonald with an A on his sweater. But that letter is much more than a decoration; it is a declaration that A-Mac is a leader on this young squad.(Photo Credit: Flickr/JDBPhotography)

At the tender age of 27, Andrew MacDonald is a veteran on this young Islanders’ team.  He leads by example and provides a consistent boost that the Islanders will need to get back to the playoffs. It is interesting to note that Andrew MacDonald may be slipping into that role of leadership amongst the defensemen out of necessity with Mark Streit heading to Philadelphia. But he is ready for the responsibility.

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and that was certainly true when MacDonald broke his hand in the middle of the first round series in the 2013 playoffs. With and without MacDonald in the line up, the Islanders were an absolutely different team. They were unable to play the same inspired hockey without number 47. While his injury did not end the series, it certainly was a deflating blow to any growing momentum. Pairing with Travis Hamonic, MacDonald squared off against some of the most dynamic talent the NHL has to offer and was holding his own. With MacDonald sidelined, the Islanders eventually were eliminated by the top seeded Penguins.

While goals and assists statistics will not jump out at you on the back MacDonald’s hockey card, he does provide a different and beneficial style of play. MacDonald led the Islanders in average ice time for the second straight season (23:31) and remained a consistent cog at the blue line for an emerging and talented team.

Another statistic that impresses has to be the blocked shots. Andrew MacDonald gives up his body and fills up shooting lanes to the tune of 3rd best in all of the NHL with 123. He was only 2 blocked shots away from the league lead last season.

It was this hard-nosed and selfless play that eventually resulted in a broken hand but fans know he will not change his style in the slightest. Andrew MacDonald will come back ready to provide that familiar and consistent spark on defense for the 2013-14 Islanders.

-Steve Giangaspro

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