Welcome to the Canucks Top 25 Under 25 Rankings, the series that makes you wish you were under 25 again. The list includes all players born after January 1st, 1996. Five staff writers (Beggsy, Westy, CanucksAbbyFan2, Trevor Connors, Markus Meyer) and one former staff writer (Daniel Gee, Elite Prospects) cast votes for the project.
A 2019 seventh round pick by the Canucks, winger Aidan McDonough has proved himself to a be a high value pick for the Benning regime.
Having made his name playing alongside former prospect Tyler Madden (traded to the L.A. Kings in the deal for Tyler Toffoli), McDonough put up an impressive 27 points in 31 games with the Northeastern Huskies.
Scouts have praised McDonough’s quick release and effective shot, which paired with his size and strength (McDonough is 6’2) makes him an intriguing combination of assets. Local Canucks prospects writer Chris Faber of CanucksArmy had this to say on McDonough:
“He’s a big, strong winger who when given enough space can get off a quick shot that catches goaltenders off-guard. His office was the right side of the powerplay where he would fire off his shot into many open cages, similar to what Northeastern fans saw Adam Gaudette do from the left side just a few years ago.”
McDonough is also something of a powerplay specialist, scoring nine of his 11 goals last season with the man advantage. He has also demonstrated an ability to step up in big games, scoring a goal and three assists in the last Bean Pot final.
It is rare for seventh round picks to enter on to many people’s radar, and the Massachusetts native has certainly pulled it off. Whether he develops into an impact forward is yet to be seen, but he’s certainly on the right track and has more than exceeded expectations up to this point.
What’s Next for McDonough?
McDonough is off to a good start this season with the Northeastern Huskies, with four points in the team’s first four games.
McDonough will be looking to show some improvement in his skating and will need to demonstrate an ability to be a key contributor absent Madden. The early signs are promising but the 2020-21 campaign remains a pivotal one for the winger.
While McDonough certainly has the offensive skill to remain prominent, it will be critical to watch how his all-round game develops in terms of his footspeed, his defensive play, and his even-strength production. If his development remains on track, he’ll be setting himself up nicely in the Canucks’ pipeline in the coming years.