2006-07: Brayden McNabb skated with the Kootenay Ice of the WHL this season.
2007-08: In his first full season with Kootenay (WHL), McNabb netted two goals and 11 points total. He registered another helper through 10 playoff games.
2008-09: The Kootenay Ice (WHL) staple returned for another season with the club. In 67 games, the D-man potted 10 goals and 36 points. His most impressive tally was in the PIM category: a career-high 140 minutes in the box. He also joined up with the Canada National U18 squad, but failed to register any points in six games at the WJC-18. McNabb was chosen in the third round, 66th overall, of the 2009 NHL Draft by the Buffalo Sabres.
2009-10: McNabb was back for a third go with Kootenay, taking a step forward in his development, following his draft. In his 64 games, the Saskatchewan kid would net 17 goals and 40 assists, but saw his penalty minutes take a slight cut from 140 to 121.
2010-11: McNabb was named to the WHL’s First All-Star team and his Kootenay Ice won the league’s playoff title en route to a Memorial Cup appearance. McNabb’s 51 assists were most on the team.He scored 21 goals with a +25 plus/minus and was assessed 95 PMs. Seven of his 21 goals came on the power play. In the WHL playoffs McNabb scored 3 goals with 24 assists and was +23 with 37 PMs. In the Memorial Cup tournament, McNabb had 3 assists and was -2 in four games. He was suspended for one game at the tournament for a hit on Owen Sound’s Joey Hishon (COL).
2011-12: McNabb made his NHL debut as a 20-year-old in late November and skated in 21 games before being returned to AHL Rochester. He returned to the Sabres for four games at the end of the season, skating over 25 minutes and recording a pair of assists in the season finale against Boston. He finished with 1 goal and 7 assists and was minus-one with 15 penalty minutes, averaging just under 18 minutes per game, in 25 games with Buffalo. Appearing in 45 games for Rochester, he was the Americans’ second-leading scorer amongst defensemen with 5 goals and 25 assists and was plus-15 with 31 penalty minutes. He had 1 assist and was minus-one in the Amerks’ three-game playoff series with the Toronto Marlies.
2012-13: McNabb skated in 62 games for the Sabres’ AHL affiliate in Rochester before suffering a season-ending knee injury in late March. The leading scorer amongst Amerks defensemen, he scored 5 goals with 31 assists and was -1 with 50 penalty minutes. Rochester finished second in the North Division and were swept by first place Toronto in the first round of the playoffs.
The former Kootenay Ice captain is a big-bodied defenseman who can throw his weight around and plays in all situations. The biggest knock against McNabb is his skating ability, but that has improved recently. Scouts think McNabb can play with an even more physical edge, and he certainly can, but a lot of the skills McNabb will develop depends on what kind of role the Sabres would like him to play.
McNabb is just on the cusp of making the Sabres lineup, though Mark Pysyk leapfrogged him on the depth chart last year. McNabb has a very good chance to become a full-time player in Buffalo, but he faces a lot of competition. Should he falter, McNabb will be one of Rochester’s top defencemen and will be one of the first call-ups should the need arise.
McNabb was dealt by the Buffalo Sabres to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Hudson Fasching and Nicolas Deslauriers at the 2014 NHL Trade Deadline.