Player: Malcolm MacMillan
Born: February 8, 1982
Hometown: Thunder Bay, Ontario
Weight: 180 lbs
Pretty much every sports team has one player that the fans truly love. Some of these players include Steve Yzerman of the Detroit Red Wings, former Detroit Lion Barry Sanders and former Detroit Tiger great Lou Whitaker.
In junior hockey there is usually not one clear cut fan favorite, but there are many of them on each team. Every so often though, a player comes out of midget and really wins over the fans more than any other player. Soo Greyhound rookie centre Malcolm MacMillan is a fan favorite in every sense of the phrase.
MacMillan was the Greyhounds 1999 second round pick (31st overall). He came into camp and won over Greyhound management with his tireless work ethic and his combination of physical play and skill.
In the 15 games that MacMillan has played this season so far he has scored 2 goals and 9 points to complement his 56 penalty minutes. His 56 penalty minutes are the 5th highest total in the league thus far.
At 5’11” MacMillan is not the most physically intimidating player in the league. It’s surprising how tough he really is though. You wouldn’t expect a lot of toughness out of a player that is 5’11”. He has already gotten into a few really good fights this season.
In 59 games last season with his midget team in Thunder Bay, Ontario MacMillan posted 39 goals and 80 points while racking up 180 penalty minutes along the way. While he may not hit 40 goals in the OHL, a 30 goal season in the future is definitely not out of the question.
By the looks of things MacMillan could be one of the best centres drafted in the 1999 draft. Some of the other centres selected ahead of him in the draft include Jason Spezza of the Mississauga IceDogs, Jay McClement of the Brampton Battalion, Stephen Weiss of the Plymouth Whalers and Derek Roy of the Kitchener Rangers. All of the teams that had a chance to draft MacMillan are missing out on a pretty good player. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of talented players drafted before MacMillan. Most of the draft picks in the first 2 rounds are all pretty close together skill wise. Some are better than others though.
MacMillan is the type of player that never takes a shift off, no matter what the score is. In a few of the Greyhounds losses this season MacMillan has looked like the best player on the team.
The fans never have anything negative to say about MacMillan. That’s mainly based on the fact that his game is so well-rounded that there are very few weak spots in his game. He plays physical, he has offensive potential (he is showing it a bit this season) and he knows his role in the defensive zone.
MacMillan is one of just five rookies in the 1999-2000 Soo Greyhound lineup to start the season. Along with MacMillan, the other rookies are 1999 CHL Import pick Vaclav Zavoral, first round sensation Trevor Daley, seventh round pick Jeff Richards and third rounder Rob Chapman. That says a lot about what the Greyhounds thought about these five players considering the fact that the lineup is made up of mostly veterans. In training camp there were not many spots open for rookies.
MacMillan is eligible for the NHL draft next summer. Despite being on the small side at 5’11”, his skill and physical play make up for it. He plays with a lot of grit and determination. It’s hard to say where he is going to get drafted because there are a lot of talented players eligible for the draft this year like Brad Boyes of Erie. It also depends on what certain teams are looking for in the draft and what they need.
I can honestly see MacMillan sticking with the Greyhounds for another two seasons. At 17-years-old though he could be in the league for another three seasons. He will be a valuable part of the organization for the next two or three seasons. He has what it takes to be a captain. He seems to be a natural leader on the ice.