NCAA Free Agent Minute: Connor Mackey

Connor Mackey is having a breakout season for the #1 Ranked Minnesota State Mavericks. So far registering 3 goals and 7 assists through the first 14 games of his Junior campaign which is well ahead of his scoring pace of the last two seasons at MSU. This past weekend Mackey registered 2 assists in Friday’s 4-1 win against two time defending national champion Minnesota Duluth. Mackey was trusted with the tough assignments all weekend, as he has all season long for the Mavericks and is a key cog in the Mavericks lineup as they try to bring Minnesota State its first D1 National Championship. Mackey displayed crisp and confident puck moving ability all weekend long and was able to effectively shut down UMD’s high powered offense for much of the weekend, using tight gaps and the ability to keep plays away from the middle of the ice. Mackey doesn’t have high end offensive abilities but can create from the back end because of his ability to move the puck quickly and accurately to skill players in all three zones. His ability to transition quickly out of his own end was on display this past weekend against a team in UMD, that can get on the fore-check and force turnovers effectively. Mackey played with a calm poise in his own end and played a very reliable and effective 2-way game all weekend.

Mackey can best be described as a late bloomer when compared to the “traditional” career path of today. Born Sept. 12, 1996, Mackey was one of the youngest in his NHL Draft Class and elected to play most of his first Draft eligible year with Team Illinois U18. After being in and out of the lineup with Green Bay (USHL) in his rookie season. Mackey started to grow into his frame physically, saw great improvement in his skating abilities and had a breakout season in 16/17, registering 6 goals and 41 assists in 60 Regular Season games for the Gamblers. Since his breakout season in the USHL and a strong freshman season with the Mavericks, Mackey has caught the eye of several NHL scouting departments, mostly due to his size, listed at 6’2” and 193lbs, defensive hockey sense and accurate puck moving ability. Mackey doesn’t project as a top pairing defenseman at the next level but certainly has the skating and hockey sense to be a reliable piece and provide defensive depth for a number of NHL organizations. Mackey has attended Buffalo Sabres offseason development camp in the past and will have several pursuers once again when this season finishes.