VANCOUVER — He's signed a contract with the Canucks, but getting to Vancouver may be difficult for Aidan McDonough.
The 23-year-old forward is in Boston, where he played four seasons for the Northeastern University Huskies before the team was bounced from the playoffs Saturday.
With his college career wrapped, McDonough signed a two-year entry-level deal with the Canucks on Monday.
A winter storm could hamper his ability to get started in Vancouver, however.
"I'm not entirely sure when I'll be heading out. Probably a lot of that is weather dependent," McDonough said on a video call. "But I'll be there, so I'm looking forward to heading out and getting started."
The six-foot-two, 200-pound forward is coming off an NCAA season where he put up 20 goals and 38 points in 34 games.
He helped lead Northeastern win this year's Beanpot championship, which features the four major college teams in the Boston area, and scored the only shootout goal in a 3-2 win over Harvard in the tournament final.
The Milton, Mass., native also won the Beanpot in 2020, when he posted a game-high four points (one goal, three assists) in a 5-4 double-overtime victory over Boston University.
Over four years, he had 124 points (66 goals, 58 assists) over 124 career games with the Huskies.
McDonough was originally selected by Vancouver in the seventh round, 195th overall, in the 2019 NHL draft, and there was hope among some Canucks fans that he would skip his final year of college hockey in favour of jumping to the pros.
Instead, he opted to stay at Northeastern, a decision that he said led to growth both on and off the ice.
"I learned so much this year. I think I developed my game even more," he said.
"Obviously, I was the captain this year. And I think the life lessons and the maturity that I've learned, being a captain and being able to manage players and working with the coaching staff, there's just so many things that I think I've learned this year that will prepare me for the future and for my pro hockey career."
Since being drafted, McDonough has watched parts of Vancouver's games whenever he's had a chance and said his overall impression of the team is that "there's lots of room for growth."
"It just seems like a great place to go for a young player looking for an opportunity," he said.
The Canucks are happy to get a deal done with the forward prospect, general manager Patrik Allvin said in a statement.
"Aidan has continued to improve his game each year since being drafted," he said. "He has steadily grown into a leadership role with Northeastern throughout his time there and our development team is looking forward to working with him as he starts his pro hockey career."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 13, 2023.
The Canadian Press