Report: Cole McWard will make his NHL debut with the Canucks tomorrow vs. Chicago
Photo credit:Feb 18, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defenseman Cole McWard (3) celebrates scoring a goal with forward Joe Dunlap (21) and forward Patrick Guzzo (71) during second period of the Faceoff on the Lake outdoor NCAA men s hockey game against the Michigan Wolverines at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch
7 months ago
The Chicago Blackhawks are the perfect team to let players signed out of the NCAA make their NHL debuts against, apparently.
According to Darren Dreger of TSN, recently signed NCAA free agent right shot defenceman Cole McWard will make his NHL debut with the Vancouver Canucks tomorrow when the Chicago Blackhawks roll into town.
On Tuesday, Rick Dhaliwal reported that the Canucks were the frontrunners to land the soon to be 22 year old right shot defenceman out of Ohio State, and by the third period of last night’s game against the Seattle Kraken, the signing was official.
“Our group has worked extremely hard this college free agent season and this signing is another important step in building out our prospect pool,” said general manager Patrik Allvin. “Cole has produced well offensively in each of his two seasons at Ohio State and excelled in a leadership role during his final USHL season with Tri-City. We look forward to having him work with Adam Foote, Sergei Gonchar and the rest of our development staff to round out his game as he transitions to the professional level.”
McWard hails from Fenton, Mo., and played for the USHL’s Tri-City Storm before making the jump to the NCAA with the Buckeyes in the 2021–22 season.
Ohio State’s 2022–23 men’s hockey season ended on Mar. 26 with a 4–1 loss to No. 2 national seed Quinnipiac in the Bridgeport Regional Final. Through 75 games over his freshman and sophomore seasons with the Buckeyes, McWard collected 13 goals and 37 points.
McWard was a staple on the Buckeyes’ penalty kill, and it will be interesting to see how Rick Tocchet and his Canucks coaching staff choose to deploy the young rearguard. We’ve seen Akito Hirose make his debut and stick in the lineup after some quietly strong play from the backend, and are incredibly eager to get a look at McWard now as well.
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