Northeastern continued to stockpile talent for the recruiting pipeline on Tuesday, garnering the verbal commitment of defenseman Hunter McDonald of the Omaha Lancers.
McDonald is an ’02 birth year from Fairport, NY, and is currently in his season season the Omaha in the United States Hockey League. Standing 6-foot-3, clocking in at 195 pounds, and with nearly 80 USHL games under his belt already, McDonald has excellent size and experience that will be ready for the collegiate game upon his arrival. Prior to Omaha, McDonald had experience playing at the elite levels of 15U, 16U, and 17U levels with USA Hockey teams.
This year with Omaha, McDonald has 10 points (3 goals) in 31 games, doubling his output from the previous year in 5 fewer games while playing on Omaha’s top defensive pairing. Fellow defenseman and Northeastern commit Nolan Hayes is also on Omaha.
Previously committed to RPI, McDonald played recently in the BioSteel All American Game, featuring some of the top draft-eligible talent in the USHL. It is expected that even as an over-ager, McDonald will get serious consideration in the 2022 NHL Draft, no doubt in part because of his appealing pro-level size. Further talent evaluations highlight his combination of size, physicality, and skating ability, all of which indicate a defenseman who will succeed at the collegiate level as well.
We expect McDonald to enroll next season for Northeastern, likely sliding right into a top-4 role given his size, experience, and pedigree. Northeastern projects to have a young defensive corps next year in terms of NCAA game experience, so a steady older presence like McDonald will be crucial for the team to succeed.
Congratulations to Hunter on his commitment! We look forward to watching him continue to develop this year ahead of enrolling to Northeastern.