At just 18, Finn McLaughlin has had quite the journey. 

Born in Calgary, McLaughlin calls Canmore home after moving there when he was four and spent his minor hockey days in Alberta.

In 2020, that all changed when he was faced with a choice:

Stay home, or try something new in the U.S.

“It was super important for to go down there,” McLaughlin recalled. "It gave me the chance for me to play with Team USA at Five Nations, Hlinka (Gretzky Cup) and getting drafted into the USHL. 

“It really opened all these doors for me and set myself up to further grow my game.”

A University of Denver commit, the defender just wrapped up his first year in the USHL, splitting time with Youngstown and Fargo.

With Youngstown, the defender skated in 30 games and collected eight assists before heading to Fargo where he skated in 21 tilts and recorded four points (2G, 2A). In the post-season he chipped in with a goal in 12 skates as Fargo won the Clark Cup.

“It was unreal and special,” he said. “It’s super hard to win the league with how competitive the USHL is and all the top teams, it took everyone to buy in. We had some adversity, but we fought through it was really special for our team. Winning the whole thing was surreal, we had a great group of guys doing their part to make it happen.

“Overall, it was a fun playing at that level. Got a lot better in every aspect, especially skating, and adjusting to the level of play. Unreal coaches and teammates helped me develop throughout the season.”

It’s been four years now since he embarked on this route and now a new path awaits as he gets set for his freshman campaign at the University of Denver.

 A program that was a no brainer to commit to. 

“The history there, winning the most NCAA Championships with adding another this past season,” McLaughlin said. “The coaching staff are unreal and really invested in my development, I talk with them often. I think hockey success there speaks itself, national champs 10 times and I’m just super honoured to further my career there.”


Ranked 132nd among North American skaters, McLaughlin’s game grew throughout the year - building anticipation for this once-in-a-lifetime experience at the NHL Draft later this month.

“It’s an honour to have scouts talking to you and get to know you,” he said. “To be ranked and possibly drafted is an honour but it’s not taking up too much headspace. 

“If I get drafted it’s an incredible honour but if I don’t its not the end of the world. I’m trying to be the best version of myself, help my team win and push myself.”