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06-27-2010, 12:42 AM
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USCHO Report on McNally released around the time of the combine (credit to Farhan Devji for finding it):

Your hometown is about to be bombed and you can save everyone in your family except one person. Who would you leave behind?

Crazy question, eh? It may have nothing to do with hockey, but at the annual NHL scouting combine, where top prospects are invited to interview with NHL teams, out of the ordinary questions such as this are asked to players in order to gain insight to what they are like off the ice.

Defenseman Patrick McNally jumped 44 spots to No. 40 in the NHL Central Scouting rankings.
Patrick McNally, an 18-year-old rising senior at Milton (Mass.) Academy who is expected to enroll at Harvard in 2011, was actually asked that question. McNally’s response was quite a good one; in a nutshell it highlights his natural mix of maturity, unselfishness, and humility.

“I said I would leave myself behind and let my other three family members go,” McNally said.

The New England prep school defenseman of the year and U.S. Hockey Report’s defenseman of the year seems to be the type of individual who puts aside all personal accolades and truly wants the best for the people around him.

“I guess individual recognition is nice to have, but I really just want the team to win the New England Prep Hockey Elite Eight Tournament next year,” McNally said. “That’s really my main goal. That was our main goal this year and we were very disappointed in the playoffs. I’m really not looking to repeat any of that [the personal awards] next year; I’m just really focused on the team winning New England.”


“I knew that it would be better for my hockey to go to a prep school,” McNally said. “I visited Yale when I was playing Junior B for P.A.L., and their assistant coach, coach [C.J.] Marottolo, who is at Sacred Heart now, told me that the best route would be prep school. He said if he were in my position, he would pick prep school. He actually called coach [Paul] Cannata for me and I really liked him, so I ended up going to Milton Academy.

“But I feel like in the beginning, I came to Milton relatively unknown. The scouts never really saw me play before. They probably figured I was pretty good and had some potential, so they put me at 84. But as they stayed around and watched me more this year, I continued to progress and get better. Then I guess they just saw that I improved and that I was a better player than they thought in the beginning, so I moved up in the rankings.”

McNally was his team’s leading scorer this year with 35 points (14 goals, 21 assists) in 28 games, a noteworthy feat for a defenseman.


The soon-to-be Crimson skater played for the Long Island Gulls growing up, then after his first year with midget minor, he played two years Junior B with the P.A.L. program, which stands for Pride in Athletics for Life. The travel organization has produced a number of NHLers — Chris Higgins, Eric Nystrom and Mike Komisarek start the list.

"I always dreamed of becoming a pro hockey player. But I never actually thought it could happen. I never really strived for that; it was just like a dream, distant in my mind. But I guess now that I may have a chance at it, it's pretty nice."
— Patrick McNally

But regarding hockey and school, his expected fall 2011 matriculation to Harvard marks the second legacy of an Ivy League athlete in the McNally family. Patrick’s father, Tom, played football at Columbia and has always emphasized the importance of academics.

“My dad always told me to use hockey as a tool to further my education,” McNally said. “So that’s exactly what I did.”


“I have to apply like a regular student in the fall,” McNally explained. “I had a lot of schools talking to me after the beginning of this year, really. We have the Flood Marr Tournament over Christmas break; I played well, and a lot of scouts came to that tournament. After that, I had a lot of schools contacting me, but I was most comfortable with the Harvard coaching staff. I really liked coach Donato, coach [Bobby] Jay, and coach [Patrick] Foley, so I decided on Harvard.”

In the NHL Entry Draft June 25 and 26, McNally is expected to be scooped up anywhere from the second to the fourth round. Instead of making the trip to Los Angeles, the new, up and coming hockey standout will remain at home in Long Island and watch it on television, waiting for a call that could potentially change his life.

“I always dreamed of becoming a pro hockey player,” he said. “But I never actually thought it could happen. I never really strived for that; it was just like a dream, distant in my mind. But I guess now that I may have a chance at it, it’s pretty nice.”
The rest of the article can be found here.

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