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McBain shows athletic prowess both on the ice and at the beach

Wild's most recent third-round draft pick was named development camp's hardest worker earlier this month

by Jessi Pierce / Special to

ST. PAUL -- Jack McBain not only impresses on the ice, but on the sand volleyball court.

"I kind of always played a lot of sports growing up and beach volleyball was one of them," McBain said. "My sister kind of got me into that; she plays a lot. she goes to Florida State for it. I just kind of played a bunch for fun when I was younger. It was fun to play."

It just so happened that beach volleyball was on the docket during one evening at the club's development camp earlier this month, as the team's prospects ventured to Lord Fletcher's in Minnetonka to partake in some fun in the sand.

"(He's an) unbelievable athlete, we noticed that at the volleyball tournament, poor guys were just running for cover," Wild director of player development Brad Bombardir said with a laugh. "Guys were not jumping up, not blocking his spikes. He's a great kid, he just loves to do all that stuff on the ice and learn these new tricks and all that. I think we got a good pick there and we're really happy we got him where we got him."

McBain, a strong, 18-year-old centerman selected in the third round (63rd overall) at this year's NHL Entry Draft, will follow his sister Molly's lead and decided his development will best grow at the Division I level. He will enter his freshman season at Boston College -- which has churned out NHL players like Johnny Gaudreau, Noah Hanifin, Chris Krieder and Alex Tuch in recent years -- beginning this fall.

For a Toronto native, selecting college was an unconventional path. 

"It's tough. A lot of my buddies go to the (Canadian Hockey League), (Ontario Hockey League); not too many guys out of my area go the college route," McBain said. "It's kind of different. A couple guys on my team the past few years have committed or have gone. I talked to a couple of them about it. They all love it. They all say it's great, I'm really looking forward to it. 

"I had the opportunity to go watch a couple Michigan games in my minor midget year and kind of fell in love with college hockey from that, just the whole atmosphere, going up against bigger, stronger guys, and for me, at that time and right now, I kind of feel it's what's best for my game. Having the opportunity to go in there and fill out and become stronger and bigger. I thought college was great and next year I'm really looking forward to BC."

McBain, who checks in at 6-foot-3 and 201 pounds said Boston College was the school of choice based on head coach Jerry York's success on producing high-quality NHL players. 

The most appealing thing about Boston College and McBain for Bombardir is the Eagles' system and how it will help him develop into an NHL-caliber player. 

"His speed is fine, just needs a little bit more quickness a little bit more lateral movement," Bombardir said. "He's going to a school where they like to play fast there. They just love to push the puck up the ice, push the pace and get guys going, so he's gonna learn to play fast there which is good for him."

McBain will also be able to lean on family to prepare him for the next level. His dad, Andrew, played in the NHL for 10 seasons between four different teams.

Video: Jack McBain on his father Andrew

"My dad has had a huge hand in getting me to where I am-my whole family has," McBain said. "It's been helpful to have him give me advice in the process. His biggest piece of advice was to trust the coaches and listen to what they have to say.

For now McBain, who won the hardest worker award at development camp, is just looking forward to growing his skill level and working toward that next step in his career. 

"Obviously you're a little nervous coming in, it's your first camp so I'm just kind of looking to have fun," McBain said. "I'm just looking to have fun here, have a good first impression with the coaching staff. I think I can learn here and kind of soak up everything. It will be awesome to learn and bring this in to BC."


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