By Michael Caples –
PITTSBURGH – A breakout season for Mackenzie MacEachern has continued into the summer.
The 90 points he posted in 29 games drew national attention for the Brother Rice standout, making him both a top draft choice of the USHL’s Chicago Steel and a future Michigan State Spartan.
And now, he’s also property of the St. Louis Blues.
The Central Division rival of the Red Wings surprised even MacEachern when they took him six picks into the third round of the 2012 NHL Draft. The Troy native had been ranked 138th in the NHL Central Scouting’s final projections, yet ended up going 67th overall.
“I didn’t expect it at all,” MacEachern said. “If anything, I expected to go maybe in the sixth or seventh (round). It was just a great feeling when my name got called. I had this feeling in my body, I started shaking – it was surreal.”
MacEachern, who will spend a season with the Steel in the USHL before enrolling at MSU for the 2013-14 season, had his parents with him in the crowd when the Blues read his name.
“I only actually had my mom and my dad out here, not everybody could make it,” MacEachern said. “My brother is in Florida, and I have two siblings who are stuck at work, so.
“It was awesome; all of their long days spent at the rink with me, they were happy to see that it paid off.”
MacEachern said he had a feeling that he could end up in St. Louis, just not that high in the draft.
“I talked to them [Friday]. I had an idea that I could possibly go there, and deep down I wanted to go there. I had a good connection with them. I liked how they ran their meeting and everything.”
Yet MacEachern knows the NHL is a long ways away, and that the present task at hand is improving in the USHL before college.
“I just got done with camp, Tuesday actually,” MacEachern said when asked about the Steel. “I love the guys there, they’re all good guys – the coaches and the kids. I’m really excited to be there.”
He’s also anxious to get to East Lansing.
“That was awesome as well,” MacEachern said of signing his National Letter of Intent to coach Tom Anastos and the Spartans. “I’ve always wanted to go to Michigan State, not just for hockey, but for school. I’m really excited to get there. The team, we’re going to be really good.”