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.
2013-14: McFarland began his second pro season with the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones before being recalled by Florida AHL affiliate San Antonio in December. He scored 10 goals with 14 assists and was +3 with 17 penalty minutes in 45 AHL regular season games with the Rampage. San Antonio missed the playoffs after finishing last in the West Division. McFarland scored 8 goals with 5 assists and was -2 with 4 penalty minutes in 20 games with Cincinnati.
2014-15: McFarland, for the first time in his three-year career as a pro, spent the entire season in the AHL instead of bouncing back and forth between there and the ECHL. In 46 games for the San Antonio Rampage, the center finished 14th on the team in scoring with 10 goals and nine assists. His 10 goals were good enough for the ninth highest total on the team.
McFarland is a highly-skilled player who has struggled to produce at the rate originally expected of him. He 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 but he doesn't play an overly combative game despite his size and is inconsistent with his defensive responsibilities.
McFarland showed just enough in the final year of his entry-level deal to warrant another contract. At worst, he has proven himself to be a solid bottom-six forward in the AHL, but the one-year, two-way contract he was given by the Panthers should allow him to further develop his game in 2015-16. At best, he shows flashes of the offense he displayed in junior and earns more ice time in offensive situations for the Portland Pirates. He’s still a long way from earning a look in the NHL.