He was selected high in the very good 2003 Entry Draft (51st overall) and ahead of several players who’ve had some time in the show (Patrick O’Sullivan, David Backes, JF Jacques, Lee Stempniak, Brad Richardson).
His draft day bio: Owns projectable size and a nice touch around the net. Needs to prove he can put up numbers against stiffer competitive (he was playing in the NEJHL and on the way to NCAA). He has an interesting offensive upside, but will need time to develop.
McDonald didn’t prove he could put up big numbers against college goalies. In 135 NCAA games he scored 43 goals. In 147 NCAA games, Fernando Pisani scored 56 goals and trumped McDonald big time in assists (97-34). In Pisani’s senior year, he scored 14 goals on a team that managed 114 (12%). In McDonald’s senior year, he scored 13 goals on a team that managed 76 (17%). The Providence hockey club does not resemble the 80s Oilers in any way. It’s a terrible comp anyway since Pisani is way more than goals for and we don’t have any indication that McDonald is a similar player without the puck.
I’ve discussed Colin McDonald with Kirk Leudeke of the NEHJ and he feels McDonald’s game is better suited to pro than college. It’ll be interesting to see if the Edmonton Oilers feel the same way.