The Michigan State hockey team is looking rather youthful these days.
With ten letter winners gone from last season, head coach Tom Anastos has been left with a group of young and inexperienced players. These young players are indeed talented, but they are also still developing and have a few years before they hit their collegiate prime. Simply put, the Spartans are a young team in the midst of rebuilding.
Fortunately, the most important building block of the Spartans rebuild may be arriving next season in the form of top 2013 forward recruit Mackenzie MacEachern.
The 18 year old native of Troy, Michigan has already proved he plays a winning brand of hockey.
MacEachern led his high school team – Brother Rice – to 2 division two state championships, scoring 90 points in just 29 games during his senior campaign. This senior performance earned him a number of accolades. MacEachern was picked to be on the Michigan High School Hockey Coaches Association Dream Team, was named Co-MVP of the Michigan interscholastic hockey league, and won Michigan’s 2012 Mr. Hockey award. However, it was MacEachern’s on ice ability that enticed Michigan State to recruit him.
Standing at 6’3” 180lbs, MacEachern is a power forward type player who has shown that he has as much skill as he does size. While his size and strength allow him to be a dominant force in front of the opponents net, he also has fantastic hand-eye coordination and soft hands, which allow him to beat opponents 1 on 1 and distribute the puck. It’s also hard to miss his explosive skating and his extraordinary hockey sense. Hockey Sense that helps others around him play better.
This highlight reel goal – in true Bobby Orr fashion – says it all.
With his high level of potential, MacEachern was naturally drafted to the NHL right out of high school. He initially flew under the radar at the draft, finishing 138th in North America’s final draft rankings after not being ranked at all. However, that didn’t stop the St. Louis Blues from selecting MacEachern #67 overall in the third round of the 2012 NHL draft.
MacEachern will spend one year in the United States Hockey League before lacing the skates up for Michigan State next season. He is currently playing for the Chicago Steel of the USHL where he has 9 points in 9 games so far.
MacEachern is certainly something for Michigan State hockey fans to get excited about. He has all the potential to become a collegiate star, and could be the perfect centerpiece for the young Spartans to build around in the coming years.