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Former Canucks forward Aidan McDonough signs with the Charlotte Checkers

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
7 days ago
Aidan McDonough departs the Vancouver Canucks organization five years after being drafted, as he signed an AHL contract with the Charlotte Checkers on Friday morning.
The American forward just finished up his entry-level contract with Vancouver, and because he was not tendered a qualifying offer, he was made a UFA this summer. It marks an unceremonious end to his tenure with the Canucks that started with promise but never amounted to more than a cup of coffee in the NHL two seasons ago.
 
Originally drafted in the seventh round of the 2019 draft, McDonough spent the next four seasons at Northeastern University, where he was consistently one of the Huskies’ most productive players. His best season came in 2021-22, when he led the Hockey East Conference in goals with 16 while finishing second in the NCAA with 25, behind only Ehten Frank.
A similarly productive campaign in his senior year prompted the Canucks to ink him to a two-year ELC at the end of his collegiate career. He was also able to get a six-game trial run in the NHL to conclude the 2022-23 season, where he picked up a goal in that span.
McDonough spent the entire 2023-24 season with the Abbotsford Canucks and he struggled to find his footing to the tune of 19 points (11 goals and eight assists) in 58 AHL games played. Whether it be due to his skating, not getting in positions to utilize his shot, or something else entirely, things never materialized for him, and it resulted in his development stalling out.
The 24-year-old will now indirectly be part of the Panthers’ organization and spend the next season working with the Checkers’ development team. Not a bad situation to find himself in given how things went for the parent team this spring and their knack for unearthing quality from untapped areas.
While it stings to let homegrown talent leave the organization for nothing in return, losing McDonough won’t be seen as a huge loss in the grand scheme of things. He may have begun his pro career with plenty of promise, but sometimes things just don’t pan out the way people hope they would, and that is what has happened here.

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