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Top 25 Under 25 - Andrew MacWilliam

Leading up to the countdown of the Top 25 Under 25 series, let's take a more detailed look at a couple of players who sit outside the Top 25, what caused them to miss, where we see them going, and what we think they need to do to make it into future editions of the Top 25. We start with the big defender, formerly of UND.

Who's this guy?

Andrew MacWilliam, is a 6'2", 226 lb. defenceman. He hails from Calgary, AB, and was born on March 25, 1990 (making him 23 years old). MacWilliam wsa a 7th round selection (188th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. I believe this makes him the last "prospect" (by which I mean he has not yet become a pro) that predates Brian Burke.

What's he done so far?

MacWilliam wsa drafted out of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, where he'd been playing for the Camrose Kodiaks. He played 2 full season (his age 18 & 19 years) in the AJHL, totalling 8 goals, 34 assists and an astonishing 350 PIMs in 113 career games, before heading to the NCAA to play for the University of North Dakota.

In four seasons with UND, he played in 163 games, registering 4 goals, 27 assists and 327 PIMs. MacWilliam was also named captain of UND in his senior season. Upon completion of his college career, he was signed to an entry-level contract by the Leafs, and played 2 games at the end of the season for the Toronto Marlies in the AHL.

Where's he going to play next season?

MacWilliam is one of three inbound Leaf prospect defenceman heading for the AHL. Depeding on available ice time, he'll either spend the season in Toronto with the Marlies, or in the ECHL with Toronto's new affiliate, the Orlando Solar Bears. At this point, it's hard to tell. But I'd be he sees time in both leagues.

What can I expect out of him?

AS his playing history should underline, MacWilliam doesn't bring much in the way of offence. He's a big, mean, nasty defensive defenceman that likes to hit and isn't shy about fighting.

Where did he finish in voting?

clrkaitken birky SteveBurtch Chemmy SkinnyFish BowerPower JP Nikota PPP 67Sound Rank
30 29 25 31 31 31 26 25 31 33

EDITION 2 - T-36/41
EDITION 1 - 36/45

So far, MacWilliam's been near the bottom of the countdown, slowly pulling up in the rankings as the number of eligible players has shrunk. After basically being ignored in the first two editions, he received Top 30 votes from five of nine members this time around, including two members that gave him his very first vote in the Top 25.

He's a bit older at 23 years of age, so this ranking is more reflective of a wait and see approach to where he fits in. If he shows up ready to make an impact he could easily vault into the Leafs top 15 prospects under 25.

Steve Burtch

What does he have to do to move up in the next Top 25?

For a guy with limited offensive upside like MacWilliam, he simply has to keep outlasting people, and prove that he can continue to be effective at higher levels. At age 23 and just starting his pro career, it's likely that he doesn't have enough time to gain entry into the Top 25 before graduation. But a strong campaign in the AHL could go a long way towards a big jump in the winter.