2022-23 Team: Peterborough Petes (OHL)
Date of Birth: Oct. 11, 2004
Place of Birth: Belleville, ON
Height: 6-foot-1, Weight: 201 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2023 first-year eligible
In the later stages of the draft, teams would be wise to take a chance on Donovan McCoy. A physical defenceman that plays a simple game, he was a valuable piece all season for the Peterborough Petes on their run to the Memorial Cup this year. The hope now is that his strong play throughout the playoffs and tournament will lead to his name being called at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.
With McCoy, it’s best to start with his play in the defensive zone. He is excellent at breaking up plays down low and knows how to use his size and physicality to win puck battles. While not the fastest defender, he has good spacial recognition and knows where to be to cut off passing and shooting lanes.
Related: 2023 NHL Draft Guide
In the transition game, McCoy is very calm and shows that he can consistently clear the puck out of the zone. He uses short passes, whether that be to the forwards or his defence partner, and is usually the last one up the ice, ensuring the puck is in the offensive zone before joining the rush. Watching him play, it is clear he is a very intelligent player that can pick his spots well, which is also why he rarely is caught up ice when the opposition starts a counterattack.
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This season, McCoy played in 92 of the Petes’ 96 games showing just how durable he can be, despite playing tough minutes. While he didn’t generate a ton of offence, posting a total of 23 points in all competitions, he still played a key role, making smart passes and surpassing the 100-shot mark during the regular season. Overall, his stat line was deceiving as despite providing value in the offensive zone, for whatever reason, he just couldn’t get on the scoresheet during the 2022-23 season.
At this point in his development, McCoy needs to find a way to stand out from the crowd. There are a lot of big, physical defencemen who can play a shutdown role, so he needs to continue to evolve his game so he can stick out in a positive way. While playing a safe game is always a positive, teams are looking for players that they believe can contribute in all three zones at the NHL level.
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Donovan McCoy – NHL Draft Projection
McCoy’s play in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Playoffs and Memorial Cup is why he should be drafted in Nashville. He stepped up when his team needed him the most, and his physical and defensive play definitely left a positive impression. Expect him to be a late-round pick, somewhere in the sixth or seventh round.
“McCoy is a big-bodied two-way defender who primarily excels on the defensive side of the game. He effectively utilizes his size and reach to navigate the ice and close gaps on opponents. While McCoy may not possess top-tier foot speed, his fluid strides enable him to cover large areas of open ice efficiently.” – Austin Broad, FC Hockey
“McCoy is a smart, two-way defenseman who skates well and has the strength and physicality to handle tough assignments and play in all situations for his team. He has a solid, wide base while skating and gets up to top speed quickly despite middling foot-speed and quickness thanks to his strong lower half and powerful strides.” – Joseph Aleong, FC Hockey
- Ability to get the puck out of his own zone
- Stick placement
- Plays a simple game
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Generating chances in the offensive zone
- Joining the rush more
Based on McCoy’s size and play, there is definitely a path to the NHL. He is one of those players that coaches love to have on their team which should help him as he makes his way through the pro ranks. If he can add more elements to his game, especially in the offensive zone, he could become a solid third-pairing defender who plays on the penalty kill.
Risk – 1/5, Reward – 2/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 2/10, Defense – 8/10
Achievements & Awards
- 2019-2020 OMHA ETA Player of the Year
- 2022-2023 OHL Champion