From Toronto, Ontario, Jack McBain is a prospect who opted to go the college route. He was drafted 20th overall in the OHL Entry Draft, but decided to play in the Ontario Junior Hockey League to remain eligible for the NCAA.
McBain is a big centreman who is strong on the puck. Projected to go early in the second round, the Wings will have a good hard look at his fit with the team.
NHL CS RANKING
Projected to go 35th overall among North American skaters.
McBain had a fantastic 2017-18 outing in the Ontario Junior Hockey League, putting up 58 points in 48 games. He was fantastic in the playoffs too, scoring 6 goals and 9 points through the four playoff games that the Toronto Jr. Canadiens played in.
Internationally, McBain represented Canada at the U18 World Junior Championship this past season and put up three points through the five tournament games. Not a bad showing for a 17-year-old centreman.
He’s committed to going to Boston College next season, so if Detroit were to take him, he certainly wouldn’t be competing for a roster spot in 2018-19. That being said, the NCAA (and BU in particular) has done a great job of crafting great NHL-ready players. McBain could very well be one of them.
THE EYE TEST
From what I can tell, McBain is like an “Anthony Mantha”-lite. He’s a big body with a big reach. He’s strong on the puck and can create a lot of noise around the net. He’s strong on the corners on the forecheck and gas the vision to find his teammates on the ice.
Where his game lacks is defensively and that’s due to him facing weaker competition in the OJHL. He’s not the greatest skater and often looks lost in his own end. This is nothing new for Red Wings prospects as defense always seems to be something that they need to be coached, so he would fit right in.
IS HE A MOTOR CITY MATCH?
While McBain is projected to go early in the 2nd round by NHL Central Scouting, I included him because Detroit is picking 31st, 33rd, and 38th overall. McBain is a centreman, which is the second gap (behind defense) that the Wings need to fill. He won’t be an elite number one centre, but he could add depth scoring as a bottom-6 contributor (with powerplay time) in a few years.
Is he a match? Sure, he could be. But his NHL debut is still years out and it’s hard to say if he’ll pan out at all. It still wouldn’t surprise me to see Detroit take a swing at him early in the 2nd round if he’s available to them.