Sophomore Isaac MacLeod is the youngest among Boston College's top six defensemen this season. He is also the lone underclassman on the Eagles blue line. The San Jose Sharks prospect has been paired with senior Edwin Shea for much of the season. MacLeod has played in all 44 games thus far for Boston College and has posted six points (all assists).
Hockey's Future spoke with Isaac MacLeod last week after Boston College's 6-1 win over Minnesota in the second National Championship semi-final game.
Hockey's Future: You're the youngest player that's part of Boston College's great defensive corps. Can you talk a little bit about your development in your two years at Boston College and what your role is on the team?
Isaac MacLeod: Last year, I came to the team as the only freshman defenseman. It was a bit of a culture shock for me because I'm from a small town in Western Canada that decided to come play for an Eastern US college. It was kind of difficult for me at first to fit in because I wasn't physically as mature compared to all of the older guys. Even just stepping into the lineup was difficult because we've had so many great players on our team. So I wasn't used to getting what little minutes that I was getting (as a freshman). When I was able to play, I was playing not to make mistakes. But this year, I'm a little more confident and just trying to help the team win, whether it's making plays out there or whatever. The (older) guys have helped me out a lot. They're always there to back you up, support you, and give you tips, and stuff like that. The coaches all do that too.
HF: In watching you guys this year, one of the things that I've noticed is just how well that 'D' corps has really come together, especially in the second half of the season. What do you personally feel has been the reason(s) behind that?
IM: At the beginning of the year, I think a lot of guys were trying to do a little bit too much. They had the right intentions, but sometimes they would go out of their way to try and make a play that ends up hurting the team. In the past 20 games, while we've been on this win streak, it's been really easy for us to play together because we're making the simple plays first instead of trying to make the harder play that's maybe more of a high-risk play. I think that's really helped us because everything is simpler and we're creating fewer turnovers. Plus there's Milsey (goaltender Parker Milner) too. He's been helping us out at times as well. When we do end up making a mistake, he's there to bail us out. He's awesome.
IM: Everyone talks about how great of a leader that Tommy Cross is, but he's also one of the most consistent players on our team, shift in and shift out. He's given me everything that he's had. He's very vocal and has taught me to be more vocal, like when I'm yelling things on the ice to try and help other people. Brian Dumoulin is just a great hockey player all-around. He has more of an offensive upside, so I try and watch him in games and practices and take away some of the little things that he does so well and try to put that into my game as well.
HF: I know that you're a prospect of the San Jose Sharks. So how does it feel to be a part of an NHL team that loves college players?
IM: I think they have a ton of eastern US college hockey players and I think it's really exciting. They're obviously a great organization and I know that it's also a great opportunity for me. I'm really hopeful that I'll get the chance to one day be able to play for them.
HF: Have they been keeping in touch with you here at Boston College this year?
IM: I haven't talked to them a whole lot actually. I know that many of their scouts are based in Boston, so I'm sure they've been to a lot of our games. They just kind of leave me alone and let me do what I need to do at Boston College. So it's definitely nice that they do that.
HF: Did you attend the Sharks' prospects camp last summer?
IM: No, I didn't actually get to go.
HF: Are you planning to attend this summer?
IM: Hopefully, yes.
HF: For those who may not be all that familiar with you, can you describe the type of player that you are and what you could potentially bring to the Sharks organization down the road?
IM: Right now with my Boston College team, I'm just trying to play within my role, which is being a sound defensive player. I like to be a player that coaches are comfortable with having out on the ice. I'm just a big body that can move fairly well, but I just have to keep improving, especially in my mobility. For a tall guy like me, that's always a big thing. I just need to keep improving on my skating in areas such as my pivots and my backwards skating. Another big thing for me is just getting into the weight room and trying to put on some more weight because I'm a little thin. (Laughs) Hopefully one day, I can bring all of those things to San Jose.