Patrick McNeill(8) Springfield Falcons

Patrick McNeill

Columbus Blue Jackets‘ 7th year defenseman Patrick McNeill(8) must be liking the first change of scenery in his pro career.

He’s reached a new high in scoring with 11 goals with minor league affiliate Springfield Falcons and second most for points, currently at 36.

Originally a Washington Capitals‘ 4th round pick in the 2005 draft (#118 overall), he spent his first 6 seasons in the team’s prospect system skating for Hershey Bears.

The 6′ 198 lbs. blue liner initially showed strong offensive instincts in four campaigns of OHL juniors with Saginaw Spirit, leading all d-men scoring 77 points in 2005/2006.

He has yet to realize his first NHL contest but has appeared in a whopping 386 AHL games, registering 44 goals and 144 assists with a combined +36 rating and a back-to-back Calder Cup Championships in 2009 and 2010.

The 27-year old is signed to a 1-year, 2-way deal through the end of 2013/2014.

A contract extension may well depend upon how he and the team perform in the upcoming postseason but he’s certainly right on track.

See related: 8/3-11, 6/19-12

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