All born within two months of one another and all hailing from New Canaan CO, Max Pacioretty, Jack Downing and Drew MacKenzie have taken the same route to professional hockey, albeit on different timetables.
2005-06: Pacioretty and Downing attended the Taft School, a Connecticut prep school reknowned for its elite hockey program. A year later the two plied their trade in the USHL. MacKenzie decided on a more conservative timetable and played for Taft this year (2006-07), impressing Sabre scouts enough to be selected in the seventh round of the NHL entry draft. Next year it'll be his turn to play in the USHL after being drafted by the Waterloo Blackhawks. MacKenzie then intends to play for the Univesity of Vermont with the undrafted Downing, while Pacioretty, Montreal's first round pick, will attend the University of Michigan this fall. MacKenzie's father and uncle both played college hockey.
2006-07: Mackenzie skated with the Taft Rhinos (High-Ct) this season, netting three goals and 13 points through 24 games.
2007-08: The defenseman joined up with Waterloo (USHL) this season, netting four goals and 18 points as a Black Hawk. He also racked up 103 penalty minutes with the club.
2008-09: MacKenzie potted a goal and 10 points in 31 games during his rookie season with the University of Vermont (H-East). His first collegiate goal was against Boston University in the Frozen Four game; BU would go on to win the match 5-4.
2009-10: MacKenzie appeared in 36 games as a sophomore for Vermont. MacKenzie scored 4 goals with 4 assists and was -1 with 16 PMs for a Catamounts squad that qualified for the NCAA tournament despite finishing eighth in Hockey East.
2010-11: MacKenzie was the top scorer among defensemen for Vermont as a junior. He scored 5 goals with 12 assists and was -4 with 16 PMs. His 17 points were fourth-best among all skaters for a Catamounts team that struggled to score goals and finished 8-20-8.
MacKenzie is a big smooth-skating defenseman with a touch of a mean streak. His main asset is his on-ice vision, which allows him to read the play and often start the break with a pass. Though he will turn 23 this season, MacKenzie has steadily improved in each of his three years at Vermont and could sign on in the AHL once he graduates.
MacKenzie has apparently been passed over by the Buffalo Sabres and is no longer a prospect of that club.