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McBain has excellent size and reach. He uses his frame effectively to win battles in the corners and to get to the front of the net, where he screens goalies and gets tip-ins and rebounds. McBain looks to extend plays in the cycle and finding teammates with a pass in front of the net. His big frame helps him to protect the puck, but he can work on being stronger on the puck. He has very good vision and passing skills. His strong hockey IQ allows him to anticipate plays, and find open teammates for a scoring pass. He can make tape-to-tape passes through traffic, as well as land a saucer pass right on his teammates’ stick.
There are lots of things to like about McBain, and he could grow into solid centre at the NHL level, capable of providing top-six offence. However, there are some concerns as well. He will need to improve his skating and defensive game. More concerning though is that despite the offensive tools, there is a bit of a lack of production. A player of McBain’s ability should be expected to dominate the OJHL, and while he was good, his numbers don’t display the level of dominance expected. – Last Word on Hockey
The first thing you notice with McBain is just how big he is. Not only is he tall but he’s solidly built and has the room to add more strength to his impressive frame. It comes as no surprise then that his unwillingness to impose his will on a weak level of competition stands as one of the things that frustrates me the most about McBain. He should have been physically dominant against OJHL competition but instead he was just very good.
As one of the growing number of Canadians choosing the NCAA hockey route, McBain played his draft year in the OJHL instead of joining the Barrie Colts, who owned his OHL rights. His production was fine for that level but, again, you really were left wanting more from a player who should get drafted just outside the first round. His skating needs some real work in the future and his offense is decent. If it’s not obvious already, I’m generally just underwhelmed by McBain’s game. He’ll have a chance at Boston College to really stand out and prove me wrong but I think he’s likely headed for getting overdrafted.
The first pick I would seriously consider taking McBain if I’m Colorado would be 58th overall. I’m just not a big believer in McBain turning into an offensive enough player to justify going after him with the 47th pick. If he’s around at 58, and given the board and what Colorado might have already done, he would be a decent selection. Colorado could use some more size in their pipeline and he certainly brings that. They need more skill, too, and that’s where I’m weary of McBain’s game.
#54 Future Considerations
#51 McKeen’s Hockey