Gavin McCarthy is a talented prospect who should be selected in the 2023 NHL Draft. He’s from Clarence Center, New York. For three seasons, he played for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres, and for the last two seasons, he played in the USHL for the Muskegon Lumberjacks.
I had some live viewings of this 6’1”, right-handed shot defenseman. He was playing on the right side. He got moved around in the early going. McCarthy has good puck-moving ability and a really good first pass. In one of the games, he made a nice flip pass for an assist. He showed good hustle to get to loose pucks, and there’s a lot of snarl there too. He wins puck battles and is solid on defense.
McCarthy, 17, plays in all situations, and his quick wrist shot helps him on the power play. He had eight goals and 19 assists in 42 games last season. Teams know when he’s on the ice. He’s hard to play against, and you can’t have enough of these players in your organization. He’s going to Boston University and should play a good role there as well.
McCarthy is confident with the puck, especially on the power play. If I were the Sabres, I would start to look at him from the second round on. The Sabres have two picks, so they have the ability to get him. It’s possible he could go in the third, and they have a third, you have to watch how the draft goes and listen to your scouts who may know what teams are interested in him. If it’s earlier, then the board matters, and where he sits on it will tell the story.
The Kingston Frontenacs has his rights just in case. He was involved in the deal that brought Shane Wright. So, the guy has options, and the team he goes to will talk about all of them. As a local guy, fans would really like this player.
Remember, the blue line you see in Buffalo right now will be different when he eventually plays in the NHL. I think he will make it, but you’re talking about 2-3 years in college or the OHL and then a year or two with Rochester in the AHL and then try and make the big club. This is why you stockpile defensemen and simply can’t have enough of them.