A 2013 AHL All-Star, McNabb has developed into a rugged defender with two-way upside. His mean streak and long reach makes forwards think twice before acting, and while not expected to be an elite puck mover, he has shown good vision when supporting the play up-ice. Continuing to add polish to his defensive game will only make him a more a valuable commodity down the road.
Aside from becoming a more fluid skater, McNabb has used the past two years in Rochester to hone his ability to get shots through to the net. His massive wind-up produced a 101.8 MPH reading at the 2013 AHL All-Star Game skills competition, but it’s his in-game shot selection that has seen him round off his value as a reliable offensive asset.
After his 2012-13 campaign was cut short due to injury, McNabb enters the final year of his entry-level contract eyeing a full-time job in Buffalo. Sabres fans caught a glimpse of what he offers back in 2011-12, when the Saskatchewan native kept it simple while providing both points and booming hits in a 25–game NHL recall. Zeroing in on his consistency should get him back in the mix, and more importantly, get him closer to achieving his NHL potential as an aggressive top-four presence and power play contributor similar to Dion Phaneuf of the Toronto Maple Leafs.