Philadelphia Flyers Select Hunter McDonald 165th Overall

Fairport #6, Hunter McDonald, skates over Penfield.Hockey 11
Fairport #6, Hunter McDonald, skates over Penfield.Hockey 11 /

With their sixth round selection in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Philadelphia Flyers have selected defenseman Hunter McDonald from the USHL’s Chicago Steel. Getting later in the draft, McDonald is a 20 year old defenseman from Fairpoint, New York who certainly fits into Chuck Fletcher’s big body mold he has used in this draft class.

Standing at 6’3” and weighing in at almost 210 pounds, McDonald is far closer to having the size needed to make an impact at the NHL level with the Flyers than some of his contemporaries. A major victim of the COVID-19 pandemic, McDonald’s transition from high school hockey to secondary leagues proved uncertain.

Bouncing through varying development leagues before eventually landing in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers, McDonald struggled to make an impact, putting up just six points in 28 games before finding his place in Omaha. Even as an established USHL defenseman, points were never his strong suit, tallying only five in his 2020-21 season and only 14 this past year.

The real eye-popping numbers for McDonald are his USHL penalty minutes, spending a staggering 183 minutes in the box over his USHL career, with less of these coming from fights than one would prefer, though his willingness to drop the gloves is well documented.

When it comes to projecting McDonald, it is incredibly difficult to do. More than anything McDonald has spent a number of years playing against relatively sub-par competition in the USHL and has failed to make enough of an impact to move to a more competitive league, much less be drafted in his two previous eligible seasons.

All is not lost with McDonald however, as his commitment to Northeastern University for the upcoming season will give the 20 year old blueliner that chance to step into a leadership position and play against some elevated competition. Whether the bruiser can make an impact remains to be seen, but the big physical defenseman is one that Chuck Fletcher is certainly enamored with, and McDonald fills that role to a “t”.