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First Impressions: Defenseman Jacob MacDonald Has Earned His Keep

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Although MacDonald has a year remaining on his AHL contract, the Devils should do the right thing and offer a new two-way deal

Photo provided by Alicia Strauch

In this week’s feature for First Impressions I focus on defenseman Jacob MacDonald and his explosive offensive output this past season that led the team with 55 points and 35 assists, and second in goals with 20 behind Nick Lappin’s 31 in his second tenure as a pro.

Jacob MacDonald

It was bad enough that Strait was offered a new two-year deal on Tuesday, but if one player that deserves more, it’s the Binghamton Devils’ 2017-’18 reigning MVP in the inaugural season.

The often under-rated 25-year-old native of Portland, OR was a past feature of mine as I saw the potential was there with his devastating boomer of a slapper and superior on ice vision. MacDonald is an offensive juggernaut over the course of his career and has a real penchant of finding his way to the back of the net which is often the case after leading his team with his offensive numbers.

However, it’s his defensive limitations that needs to be polished if he’ll ever have a shot at the big show.

Photo provided by Alicia Strauch

Team Accomplishments

So let’s get serious New Jersey and don’t wait. Why? Because he has earned it after his recent accomplishments for the Binghamton Devils which included;

  • Team MVP
  • Top Defenseman Award
  • Leading Point Producer
  • All-Star Representative

This all being done on his AHL deal mind you, as the subject of a new contract was offered by New Jersey and was declined in the past, but it shouldn’t be an issue as the process moves forward in favor of MacDonald I was told. It’ll happen. Just respect the process.

Power Play Advantage

I like what he brings on the blueline with an obvious talent of putting up the numbers on the scoreboard, especially on the man-advantage with him quarterbacking the point on the first unit.

However, his defensive skills need more time, but he is a very smart player with a high on ice IQ and he’ll figure it out in what it might take to make it to the next level in due time.

Let’s not forget his ability to be that lethal weapon from the point. It’s a joy to watch on occasion when MacDonald connects and as the feeling around the club he could be the next blueliner for New Jersey soon.

Grades Reports

85.33 / B, 87.87 / B+, 85.75 / B, 90.75 / A- (75 gms, 20g 35a)

His was the most consistent marks ranked second behind Nick Lappin, as the two best offensive players provided a one-two punch for the BDevils that was otherwised starved for production.

It was painful reminder at times watching MacDonald’s numerous turnovers in the defensive zone, but I believe (and hope) he can improve next season as he acknowledged his misfortunes afterward the season concluded. And I have faith a deal will get done at some point over the off-season.

Next time featured for First Impressions: Blake Speers and how far he has come along in his development.