The Hobey Baker Award-winning goalie went undrafted.
News | We’ve signed goaltender Dryden McKay to a two-year AHL contract. #ForeverStartsHere
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) April 25, 2022
McKay accepted a six-month period of ineligibility for an anti-doping violation on April 14. He will be eligible to voluntarily enter the organization’s facilities on August 25 and play for the Marlies on October 11.
Elliotte Friedman has the scoop:
Hearing Hobey Baker winner Dryden McKay, a goalie from Minnesota State, will be signing with TOR. He will be eligible to participate in training camp and all of next season. Let’s see where this goes.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 25, 2022
McKay got some unwelcome notoriety when it was revealed after the Hobey Baker awards that he had tested positive for a banned substance:
“If we didn’t figure out where (the Ostarine) came from, he was going to get four years,” said lawyer Paul Greene, an expert in the field hired to represent McKay. “The only reason we got the reduction is because we figured out where it came from, and his degree of fault was very low. He’d been very careful about looking at the label.”
McKay, who is reportedly named after Ken Dryden, is the son of a Canadian hockey player who finished up his career in the US. McKay was born in Illinois and played for the Chicago Mission organization when young. He played for two different USHL teams, and then attended Minnesota State University (Mankato) for four years where he had excellent save percentages. He finished 10th in the NCAA by that measure this season.
The question is always going to be: Why wasn’t he drafted? The answer might well be that he is “only” 6’ tall, in an era when goalies are expected to have more bulk and reach than ever before.
He also has a November birthdate, and any look at the birth month of NHL players shows a big skew to the first quarter of the year. It’s a well-documented draft bias.
In his first year of draft eligibility, he was just starting out in the USHL, and in subsequent years, he was playing high school hockey while others were in college already.
The second question is going to be: Is he a steal? Is he going to be an NHL starter, and can he play tomorrow? We won’t see him play until next season, and it’s very unlikely to be in the NHL. The truth is only time will tell, but he’ll turn 25 in the early part of next season, so he doesn’t have a lot of time to make a big impression.