2003-04: McBain played in 73 games for Shattuck-St. Mary’s School, recording 33 points (six goals, 27 assists) helping the team achieve a record of 63-3-7. Attended the USA Hockey Select 16 camp.
2004-05: McBain joined the US NTDP program in Ann Arbor. In 62 games with the U-17 team, McBain recorded 3 goals with 16 assists and 42 PIM. He also recorded an assist at the Four Nations Cup and was named the Most Outstanding Defenseman. At the World U-17 Hockey Challenge he scored 1 goal with three assists.
2005-06: McBain returned to Ann Arbor to play for the NTDP U-18 team. In 55 games, he scored 9 goals with 21 assists and 41 PIM. His 30 points and 6 power play goals were both second most amongst defensemen on the team. In 21 games against NCAA opponents, he recorded 3 goals and 3 assists with 33 PIM. Was an offensive force for the US squad at the WJC U-18 tournament scoring 2 goals with 9 assists in six games.
2006-07: At the Univ. of Wisconsin, McBain appeared in 36 games as a freshman and scored 3 goals (all on the power play, one a game winner) with 15 assists. His 18 points were tops amongst Badger defensemen and tied him for fifth on the team overall. Team-wise, the Badgers struggled for much of the season, finishing tied for sixth during the WCHA regular season but advanced to the WCHA semifinals before falling to Minnesota. McBain played for the bronze medal-winning US squad at the WJC, appearing in all seven games.
ace="Arial">2007-08: McBain increased his offensive production as a sophomore, scoring 5 with 19 assists while reducing his penalty minutes from 30 to 18 and finishing +11 for the season. McBain was paired with freshman Ryan McDonagh (NYR) for much of the season, helping him grow accustomed to the speed and skill of the college game. Due to the NCAA's complex seeding formula and a strong schedule, the sixth-place Badgers qualified for the NCAA tournament despite a sub-.500 record and defeated Denver before falling to North Dakota in OT. In six games with Team USA at the WJC, McBain recorded an assist.
2008-09: McBain established himself as one of college hockey’s best blueliners and was a guiding force on a Wisconsin team that finished third in the WCHA but did not reach the NCAA tournament despite winning 20 games. A Hobey Baker Award candidate, McBain was second in scoring amongst NCAA defensemen with 7 goals and 30 assists in 40 games though his -9 plus/minus was a drop from the previous season. Named WCHA Player of the Year, McBain chose to forego his final season of college hockey and signed with Carolina after the college season ended. He played 10 games with the Hurricane's AHL affiliate in Albany scoring 1 goal with 1 assist.
2009-10:Spent the bulk of the season in Albany, leading the AHL squad to a resurgence and a playoff run that concluded with a second round loss to eventual Calder Cup champion Hershey. After gaining confidence early in the season, McBain was a dominant offensive defensemen down the stretch – both with the River Rats and in his late season call-up with the Hurricanes. In 68 regular season games with the River Rats, he scored 7 goals with 33 assists and was +11. In eight playoff games he scored 4 goals with 2 assists and finished +8. McBain impressed in his time with the Hurricanes as well, scoring 3 goals with 7 assists in 14 games as Carolina played some of its best hockey late in the year, after being for all practical purposes eliminated from playoff contention due to a dreadful early season stretch.
McBain is an offensive defenseman with decent size. He has good puck handling skills and a good sense of where the puck needs to be. Though not particularly physical, he defends well for an offense-first player and is positionally sound and responsible in all areas of the rink. Plays a disciplined game and rarely takes penalties due to being out of position.
There is some talk of McBain starting the season in one of the top two pairs for the Hurricanes this season. While that may just be posturing prior to the Hurricanes acquiring a veteran or two to bolster their backline prior to the season, it is clear that he is a big part of the future in Raleigh. McBain's offensive game and the ability to control the tempo of the game compare favorably to some of the top young defensemen in hockey.