2006-07: Although he was primarily used as a checker, he scored 19 goals and 12 assists in his 61 games with Portland. The Winnipeg native picked up 186 penalty minutes and was not afraid to drop the gloves with some of the WHL’s heavyweights. His massive frame allowed him to be used as an immovable screen on the power play.
2007-08: McLaren spent the season with three different squads: The Portland Winter Hawks (WHL), the Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL), and the Worcester Sharks (AHL). In 18 games with Portland, he recorded seven points (4g+3a) before being traded to Moose Jaw for the final 48 games of his WHL career. He tallied 33 points (15g+18a) with Moose Jaw and added an assist to his season total in four games with Worcester. He racked up a goal and an assist in six games with Moose Jaw.
2008-09: McLaren’s first full season with the Worcester Sharks(AHL). In 75 games with Worcester, McLaren picked up 8 points and 181 PIMs. The towering defender scored 7 goals and picked up 1 assist. He was a -11 in his first pro season. In 12 playoff games, McLaren picked up 5 points and 50 PIMs.
2009-10: McLaren’s second pro season was split between Worcester(AHL) and San Jose(NHL). In 52 games with Worcester McLaren picked up 4 goals and 11 assists. He picked up another 148 penalty minutes. With the big club McLaren notched 6 points and 54 PIMs in 23 games. McLaren played 11 playoff games with Worcester, going pointless but picking up 37 PIMs.
2010-11: McLaren appeared in nine games for the Sharks and averaged less than five minutes of ice time – almost strictly playing an enforcer role – in his second pro season. McLaren had fights in four of his nine games and was -1 with no points for the Sharks. He played 40 AHL games with Worcester and was -9 with 71 PMs, including seven major penalties, and scored 2 goals with 2 assists. McLaren was re-signed by the Sharks as an unrestricted free agent to a one-year contract in June 2011.
2011-12: McLaren had a tough start to his season, coming back from off-season hip surgery and a conditioning stint in the AHL. The big forward played just seven games in the NHL and only 20 games in the AHL combined for one assist and taking 82 PIMs (eight fighting majors).
McLaren only has the tools to be a fourth line checker and an enforcer but needs to improve his skating and bring more offense in order to stay in the NHL at this role.
McLaren has a chance to be the enforcer, fourth line checker for the Sharks at the NHL level this year with the release of other players who filled the role for San Jose last season. This could be his last chance to make the NHL Sharks as time is running out on the big man.