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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The veteran of the young Flyers blue line, MacDonald recorded one of his best offensive seasons in 2017-18, posting a career-high six goals and 21 points in 66 games, which was his best total since 2013-14. But owners probably shouldn't expect the same production from the 31-year-old this season. While his shot numbers were up, his career-best 7.3 percent shooting percentage can largely explain the increased scoring. Additionally, it's not as if owners should line up for a defenseman who scores five or six goals and a point every four games anyway. MacDonald is much more valuable to his real team than any of his fantasy squads.
MacDonald enters his age-31 season with a career high of 27 points to his name, and he managed only 18 over the course of 73 games last season while playing his typical 20 minutes per game, including a large helping of shorthanded time. That's about all you can ever expect from the veteran blueliner, and while his blocked shots offer a speck of fantasy value in formats that count them, the vast majority of owners should feel comfortable looking past him.
After racking up 36 points in 43 games while “on loan” to AHL Lehigh Valley last year, MacDonald got called back up to the big leagues in mid-February, but the results were less than impressive. He notched just eight points and 20 shots in 28 games, with a plus-10 rating serving as a silver lining. But MacDonald’s still on the front side of the enormous six-year, $30 million contract extension he signed with the Flyers in 2014, so the team’s got a financial incentive to let him prove he can be better this season. Fantasy owners should maintain a healthy level of skepticism, as the 29-year-old blueliner has never cracked 30 points at the NHL level.
MacDonald struggled to produce offense last season, managing just two goals and 12 points in 58 games. After recording 24 points in his final 63 games with the Islanders in 2013-14, MacDonald has accrued only 14 points in 77 games since arriving in Philadelphia and inking a huge extension shortly after that. While the offense has disappeared, MacDonald remains somewhat valuable in very deep leagues due to his blocked shot and PIM contributions, though even those numbers have tailed off from his days with the Islanders. He still averages around 20 minutes of ice time, but with offensive defenseman Mark Streit and Michael Del Zotto in place, in addition to a slew of blue line prospects rising in the system, MacDonald won't see much power-play time. The 28-year-old may be able to improve on his totals from last season, though don’t expect a huge leap, as he’s been asked to stick in his own zone more than anything.
After signing a six-year deal in the offseason to remain in Philadelphia for the foreseeable future, MacDonald looks to make a name for himself in one of the bigger hockey markets in the league. MacDonald should thrive in an environment where he can fit into his natural third- or fourth-defenseman role after carrying the weight of the Islanders' defensive woes for nearly six seasons. It will be difficult for him not to have the best year of his career, but fantasy general managers will still likely have better options available to them unless they are in an exceptionally deep league.
MacDonald had a solid season for the Islanders last season. But like so many other defenders on the team, his offensive upside is limited - to say the least - as he only posted three goals and 12 points. He is best suited for a third pairing on defense but with the Islanders he will probably be a second pairing.
MacDonald has proven to be a reliable second pairing defenseman for the Islanders. His numbers won't knock you out of the rink, but he is capable of scoring a few goals, posting five to go with 14 assists last year in 75 contests. On a deeper defensive teams he might be a third pairing blue liner; MacDonald could factor into deeper leagues.
MacDonald was yet another player that was lost to the Islanders last season due to injury. He underwent hip surgery and is expected to be ready for the start of the NHL season. MacDonald should be included on the Isles' second pairing on defense, and although his offense isn't the greatest, it's not the worst, either.
MacDonald has yet to play a full season with the Islanders, and it seems unlikely that 2010-11 will change that. The trade for James Wisniewski, and the return of Radek Martinek, means MacDonald is most likely ticketed to start the season in Bridgeport and will be called up from the AHL when injuries arise.
MacDonald notched 32 points in 69 games for Bridgeport last season. He still needs to work on becoming a complete defenseman, so he will work on his development in Bridgeport in 2009-10.
MacDonald is an offensively skilled defenseman who has put up decent points at nearly every level he's played in. He's not ready for the NHL as he definitely needs work on the defensive aspects of the game, but he could be a solid producer for the Isles in the coming years.
MacDonald will join the team for training camp, but will be hard-pressed to make the team. He still needs some seasoning, so expect a year or two more in the AHL.