McDonald inks deal with Calgary Flames
Halifax goaltender Mason McDonald said putting pen to paper with the Calgary Flames this week was “what I have been working for my whole life.”
The NHL announced Thursday McDonald, 19, signed an entry-level contract with Calgary, which drafted him 34th overall in the second round of the 2014 draft.
McDon al d , who just finished his third Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) season, said he inked the deal Wednesday night.
The Charlottetown Islanders netminder said it’s hard “to put into words” what it means to finally sign, especially considering he recently recovered from a knee injury that sidelined him during the playoffs.
McDonald said he’s “back to 100 per cent” and has been training every day, without an issue.
The injury happened March 30, during Game 3 of Charlottetown’s first-round series against the Sherbrooke Phoenix. The Islanders won the series 4-2, but were swept in the second round by the Quebec Remparts.
McDonald, who had a 3.06 goals against average, .906 save percentage and a 28-22 record last season, said he can’t wait to rejoin his Charlottetown teammates for the 2015-16 season, which he believes will provide important growth for his future.
“It will be another fun year developing in Charlottetown,” he said. “We should have a good year and I’m really looking forward to it.”
In addition to attending summer development camp with the Flames this month and the team’s main camp come September, McDonald will be working on his game with Hockey Canada’s national junior program.
The six-foot-four, 189-pound netminder will be attending the national teams’ summer showcase this August in Calgary. He is one of three goalies on the under-20 roster for the event, which puts him in contention for next season’s national junior team.
“Hopefully, if I have a good start to the season, and everything goes well, I can crack the world junior team,” McDonald said.
But he knows there is “a lot of hard work” ahead of him before he gets to take an NHL crease.
“I think I can do it,” McDonald said. “Hopefully some day it happens.”