2009-10: McCabe joined the USA National Team Development Program after skating for Wisconsin's Eau Claire Memorial High School in 2008-09. He made one appearance with the U18 team and skated in all 52 games for the U17 squad. He was scoreless with 2 penalty minutes in his only U18 game and had 8 assists with 52 penalty minutes in U17 play. He had 1 assist in six games as the USA won gold at the 2010 U17 World Hockey Challenge. McCabe committed to playing college hockey at Wisconsin in 2011-12.
2010-11: McCabe returned to Ann Arbor for his second season with the USA NTDP. In 46 games with the U18 squad he had 4 goals with 12 assists and 14 penalty minutes. He had 1 assist and was plus-one in six games at the 2011 U18 World Junior Championship as the USA won the tournament for the third straight year.
2011-12: McCabe played 26 games as a freshman for Wisconsin – missing ten games early in the season after suffering a hand injury. Playing on a veteran Badger defense corps that included NHL prospects John Ramage and Justin Schultz, he scored 3 goals with 6 assists and had 12 penalty minutes. Wisconsin struggled for much of the season before winning four of its final five games; finishing 10th in the 12-team WCHA. In the WCHA playoffs the Badgers split the first two games with third-place Denver before losing the decisive third game of their first-round series in overtime. McCabe was invited to the NHL Draft Combine and ranked 47th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting's final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft.
For such a young player, McCabe thinks the game remarkably well. He possesses excellent vision and anticipates/follows play quite well. While his decision-making does need to improve, it should come with development and maturity. What makes McCabe so effective in defensive situations are his stick work and grit. Another notable characteristic of McCabe’s is his skating. He has good agility and moves well both north-south and laterally.
With Justin Schultz signing with the Edmonton Oilers, Wisconsin Badgers coach Mike Eaves will be relying heavily on McCabe, who will be playing in all situations and logging big minutes with Frankie Simonelli and John Ramage.