Matt MacKenzie
Image: NHL

Matt MacKenzie


New Westminster British Columbia



Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









3rd round (83rd overall), 2010


198 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C


2007-08: Matt MacKenzie, a second round pick of the Calgary Hitmen at the 2006 WHL Bantam Draft, played in 39 games for the Hitmen.  He scored 2 goals and added 6 assists for 8 points.  He finished the season with a +15 rating.  In 6 playoff games for the Hitmen, MacKenzie scored 1 goals and added 2 assists for 3 points.

2008-09: In 49 games for the Hitmen, MacKenzie scored 3 goals and added 9 assists for 12 points.  In 16 playoff games for the Hitmen, he registered 2 assists while posting a +7 rating.

2009-10: MacKenzie played in 64 games for the Hitmen, scoring 6 goals and adding 34 assists for 40 points.  He was a +16 for the season while adding 62 penalty minutes to his totals.  In the postseason, MacKenzie and his Hitmen teammates marched to the WHL Championship, with MacKenzie scoring 6 goals and adding 10 assists for 16 points in 23 games.  He had a +9 rating and finsihed with 62 penalty minutes.  MacKenzie played for Team Orr at the 2010 CHL Top Prospects Game.

2010-11: MacKenzie started the season with the Calgary Hitmen before being traded to the Tri-City Americans in a WHL trade deadline deal for two players and a draft pick. Between the two clubs he appeared in 73 games and scored 7 goals with 31 assists and was -9 plus/minus with 36 PMs. He was effective on the power play; scoring 5 of his 7 goals with the man advantage. In 10 playoff games for Tri-City, he scored 1 goal (power play) with 4 assists and was -1 with 6 PMs.

2011-12: MacKenzie played in just 20 games for the Sabres' AHL affiliate in Rochester in his first pro season – missing over two months (34 games) after suffering a deep cut to his leg. He had 4 assists and was minus-one with 16 penalty minutes for the Amerks, who finished second in the AHL's North Division. Mackenzie did not appear in any playoff games during Rochester's three-game series with the Marlies. He also played five late season games for the ECHL's Gwinnett Gladiators; finishing minus-four with 2 assists and 11 penalty minutes.

2012-13: MacKenzie saw limited ice time with Buffalo's AHL affiliate in Rochester in his second pro season but showed progress after overcoming the serious leg injury he suffered in 2011-12. The youngest defenseman on a crowded Amerks blue line, he had 4 assists in 30 regular season games and was-1 with 66 penalty minutes. Rochester finished second in the North Division and were swept by first place Toronto in the first round of the playoffs. MacKenzie played in 2 of 3 playoff games and was +1 with 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes. He played two ECHL games with Greenville, scoring his first professional goal, and was -3 with 2 penalty minutes.

Talent Analysis

MacKenzie is a two-way player who plays a very simple game. He plays well in all three zones and adept at keeping opponents on the perimeter. He has good offensive skills and good skating ability, though coaches would like him to be more opportunistic on offence. MacKenzie’s development has been rather slow, making him a potential late bloomer.


MacKenzie has seen limited playing time in Rochester over the past two years. MacKenzie suffered a serious leg injury last year after being cut by a skate and needs to climb his way back up the depth chart. He is entering the final year of his entry-level contract and is a long shot to make the NHL.


2010 NHL Draft: Buffalo Sabres squander draft year on busted defensive prospects

by Jason Chen
Photo: Mark Pysyk missed the last two months of this season after collapsing during a pickup basketball game. (Courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: Mark Pysyk missed the last two months of this season after collapsing during a pickup basketball game. (Courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)

The Buffalo Sabres needed a facelift at the 2010 NHL Draft. Once a high-flying scoring machine, the Sabres never adequately addressed the departures of co-captains Chris Drury and Danny Briere in 2007. With a potential franchise defenseman in Tyler Myers and the emergence of Ryan Miller as an elite goaltender, the Sabres nevertheless decided that they needed to re-tool from the back end out. It was a strange move, given that the team’s 207 goals allowed in 2009-10 season were the fewest in seven years—a big reason why they managed to capture a division title after failing to make the playoffs in the two previous seasons. Read more»

Buffalo Sabres remain in state of transition at NHL and minor league levels

by Jason Chen

Phil Varone - Buffalo Sabres

Photo: Forward Phil Varone currently leads the Rochester Americans with 29 points through 32 games. Varone is in his third year at the AHL level. (courtesy of Abelimages/Getty Images)

The Rochester Americans, the AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres, made their return to the Spengler Cup this winter after placing third in 1996. However, the Amerks were outmatched in the prestigious tournament this time around, allowing 15 goals and losing all three of their games. Participating in the tournament meant taking a 12-day break from AHL play, but three extra games' worth of experience can be beneficial to a young team.

Read more»

Rebuild fully underway for Buffalo Sabres

by Jason Chen

Zemgus Girgensons - Buffalo Sabres

Photo: Forward Zemgus Girgensons is one of four teenagers to play for the Buffalo Sabres this season. The Latvian-born Girgensons was selected 14th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

Currently amid a full-scale rebuild, the Buffalo Sabres have 43 prospects in their system, including seven first-round picks, giving them both quantity and quality at every position. The Sabres also have many prospects already contributing at the NHL level, including forwards Zemgus Girgensons, Mikhail Grigorenko, and Johan Larsson.

Read more»

Buffalo Sabres have talented, experienced group at minor-league level

by Jason Chen

Mark Pysyk - Buffalo Sabres

Photo: Mark Pysyk is one of several talented defensive prospects the Buffalo Sabres have at the AHL level. (Abelimages/Getty Images)

The Buffalo Sabres' AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans, are one of the biggest beneficiaries of the NHL lockout. Though Cody Hodgson, Marcus Foligno, Brayden McNabb, and T.J. Brennan have, for the most part, been pillars for head coach Ron Rolston, the Amerks are currently sitting just out of playoff position. Hurting the Amerks is overall consistency and a lack of quality depth up front.

Read more»

Patient approach at player development paying off for Buffalo Sabres

by Jason Chen

Brayden McNabb - Buffalo Sabres

Photo: Defenseman Brayden McNabb (81) is one of several Buffalo Sabres prospects who would be competing for a spot in the NHL right now if not for the ongoing lockout. (Bill Streicher/Icon SMI)

The Buffalo Sabres have traditionally taken the long and steady approach to developing their projects, giving their prospects as much time as needed to develop into an NHL player. That patience has paid off, with many players drafted in the past five years making contributions at the NHL level last year, and are ready to this year, if or when the NHL lockout ends. Corey Tropp, Luke Adam, Brayden McNabb, Marcus Foligno, and a few others are among those who have proven that they can play in the NHL.

Read more»

Related Articles

Win a PlayStation 4 + a copy of NHL 16 from GameRevolution and Hockey's Future! Complete one or more of the action... in Contests on LockerDome