UNH Captain Collin MacDonald Looks Forward to 2015-16 Season
|Collin MacDonald Named|
UNH Hockey Captain
22-year-old forward Collin MacDonald from West Milford, New Jersey is the new captain of the UNH hockey team. The announcement was made last Saturday at the 2015 Awards Banquet sponsored by the Friends of UNH Hockey. Dan Correale and Maxim Gaudreault were named as the Alternate Captains. Here's Collin accepting his new jersey with the 'C' and addressing the crowd at the banquet:
Collin MacDonald: Fast Facts ~ 4 years at West Milford High School (NJ), scored over 300 goals. ~ 2010-11 season with the Jersey Hitmen, the 18-year-old lead Empire Junior Hockey League in scoring with 29 goals and 53 assists. ~ 2011-12 season, scored 27 goals, 18 assists; named an All-Star in Eastern Junior Hockey League. ~ October, 2011, NHL Central Scouting Service identified MacDonald as a "B prospect", potential 3rd to 5th round draft pick in 2012 NHL Entry Draft. ~ Recruited by Providence College, Harvard, Dartmouth, and Brown. ~ 3 seasons at UNH - 51 games, 5 goals, 5 assists. ~ February 16, 2014, broke femur in right leg, missed rest of sophomore season.
I had an opportunity to interview Collin, via email, about his selection as captain, his playing career, and goals for next season:
Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Congratulations Collin on being selected as the UNH Hockey Captain for the 2015-16 season. Back in 2010, you were the captain of the Jersey Hitmen team that played in the Empire Junior Hockey League. What leadership qualities do you believe you will bring to the UNH captaincy? Collin MacDonald: Thank you Mike. It’s important not to change my ways now that I have been named captain. I do know that with it comes great responsibility, but I am not alone by any means when it comes to leading this group of guys. I’ve gained respect from my teammates because I respect every single one of them. I will continue to respect them, and lead with confidence and by example. I’m vocal in the room, and I understand the importance of listening as well.
Mike Lowry: At the annual banquet last year, the newly selected captain Matt Willows said "I can't wait to win a National Championship...sorry you seniors won't be here when it happens, but next year's the year". In your remarks at the recent banquet, you said "I think it's easy to stand up here and say 'we're going to win the National Championship', but it takes a lot of hard work and these guys are definitely willing to put it in. So, we're going to show everybody that in October." What message were you conveying to your teammates and the UNH fans? Collin MacDonald: Firstly, I want to recognize that my remarks weren’t directed toward Matt. I understand that his remarks were intended to fire the team up for the following season. I thought to take a step back and remind the boys that we have a team capable of winning, and that there is plenty of work to be done. The fans should be excited in knowing that the team understands what’s in front of us, and that we are willing to put the work in to be successful.
Lowry: In February of your sophomore year, you broke the femur in your right leg during practice. Would you describe what happened, the severity of the injury, and the time you spent in hospital recovering? What was the rehabilitation like and when did you resume "full contact" practice with the team? MacDonald: Yes I did break my right femur in practice as a sophomore. I crashed into the wall behind the goal line, just an unlucky break. Unfortunate complications kept me in a couple different hospitals for two weeks, and a rehabilitation center for four days. From there I worked with trainer Glenn Riefenstahl, on top of outpatient physical therapy three times a week for about four months. I was cleared for full contact in the beginning of September before the year started.
Lowry: When you committed to UNH in August, 2011, your coach with the Jersey Hitmen, Toby Harris, told US Hockey Report that you have "awesome speed" and "everything to succeed on the big rink at UNH". Have you regained your speed since you broke your femur? MacDonald: I was in good condition when I returned to Durham in the fall. I wasn’t as strong as I would have liked to have been because of my off ice limitations in the summer. For my size and strength at the time I would say my speed was average. I’m excited that we are in full swing with spring workouts and I have all summer to get even stronger than I was before the leg injury. So ultimately my answer is that I didn’t have all my speed back last year, but I plan to have all of it and more when October arrives.
Lowry: I interviewed Coach Harris shortly after you committed to UNH and he likened your skills to James van Riemsdyk. He told me: "I recruited James van Riemsdyk when he was a sophomore at Christian Brothers Academy in (Middletown) NJ. I saw a lot of GOD given talent and skill. Although James was a sophomore and Collin a postgraduate, there is an uncanny resemblance. He skates extremely well, has incredible hands, an excellent scoring touch/release, and great size. With the UNH system, rink and off ice training program he will excel." What do you think of Coach Harris' assessment? MacDonald: It’s an enormous compliment to be compared to a player like James. I’d be lying if I said I don’t try to replicate parts of his game. Along with his skill, he has hockey sense that is second to none. I’m grateful for Coach Harris’ assessment, but I know there’s a lot of work to be done in order to prove that assessment correct.
Lowry: Your broken leg ended your sophomore season after only 16 games and as a junior, you played in 20 of UNH's 40 games. Are you ready to play a full, 40-game season? What personal goals to you have for the 2015-16 season? MacDonald: I will 100% be ready to play a full season next year. I’ve got a great family that will afford me the opportunity to do what I need to do to make that happen. Personally, I want to be productive offensively, and reliable defensively. I want to make all my teammates better along the way. I can honestly say I just want this team to be successful and consistent all year long.