2007-08: John McFarland scored 96 goals with 69 assists in 49 games with the Toronto Junior Canadiens Junior A team. He was selected in the first round (first overall) by the Sudbury Wolves in the OHL Priority Draft. McFarland was the MVP of the 2008 OHL Showcase Tournament.
2008-09: McFarland made his OHL debut with the Sudbury Wolves and opened with a flourish – scoring 5 goals with 6 assists over one twelve game span to be named the OHL's Rookie of the Month for October. In 58 games with the Sudbury Wolves, he scored 21 goals with 31 assists. McFarland was -30 playing for the last-place Wolves and recorded 36 PIM. McFarland was the second-leading scorer for fourth-place Team Canada at the WJC U-18 tournament with 3 goals and 5 assists. 6 PIM and a +7 plus/minus.
2009-10: In 64 games for the Wolves, McFarland scored 20 goals and added 30 assists for 50 points. He added 70 penalty minutes to his offensive totals. In 4 playoff games for the Wolves, McFarland scored 3 goals. McFarland was the captain of Canada's team at the Ivan Hlinka U-18 tournament and he scored 4 goals with 1 assist and was -3 with 8 PIM for in six games for seventh-place Team Canada at the WJC U-18 tournament. McFarland played for Team Orr at the 2010 CHL Top Prospects Game.
2010-11: McFarland began his third season in the OHL with the Sudbury Wolves before being traded to eventual West Division champ Saginaw in December. After an initial scoring burst following the trade, McFarland once again proved to be a streak scorer – scoring goals in bunches and then going stretches with little offensive production. In 12 games with Sudbury he scored 6 goals, four of which came on the power play, with 4 assists and was -5 with 13 PMs. In 37 regular season games with Saginaw he had 19 goals with 9 assists and was an even plus/minus with 33 PMs. He scored three power play goals and three short-handed goals with the Spirit. In 12 playoff games for the Spirit he was third on the team with 5 goals and added 4 assists with a -5 plus/minus.
2011-12: Signed to an entry-level three-year contract by Florida in April 2011, McFarland attended camp with the Panthers before returning to Sudbury for a fourth OHL season. He scored 20 goals with 21 assists and was minus-15 in 36 games for the Wolves before being traded to the Ottawa 67's in January 2012. He played 12 games for Ottawa before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. McFarland scored 4 goals with 5 assists and was plus-eight with 10 penalty minutes for the East Division-leading club.
2012-13: McFarland skated for Florida affiliates San Antonio (AHL) and Cincinnati (ECHL) in his first pro season. He appeared in 43 AHL games, playing 12 games with the Rampage before being sent down at the end of November and then returning to San Antonio in January. He scored 5 goals with 9 assists and was -4 with 10 penalty minutes. San Antonio missed the AHL playoffs after finishing last in the South Division. McFadden was a point-per-game scorer for Cincinnati during the regular season and returned to the Cyclones for their playoff run to the ECHL Eastern Conference finals. He scored 12 goals with 13 assists and was +4 with 12 penalty minutes in 23 games and had 4 goals with 5 assists, finishing +2 with 6 penalty minutes, in 12 playoff games.
McFarland is a highly-skilled player who has struggled to produce at the rate originally expected of him. McFarland has speed and a quality wrist shot which make him a dangerous breakaway threat whenever he is on the ice, but he has struggled to use those skills to generate consistent, team-based offense. He often works hard to create space and is a competent defender, but he has been plagued by ineffective play for most of his career.
McFarland will fight for a roster spot in San Antonio in 2013-14, but unless he can find a way to score at that level, he could spend most of the season in the ECHL once again. Long-term, he must prove that he can score consistently at the higher levels of professional hockey or he runs the risk of becoming a career minor-league player.