3-9-12 in 48 games
Most often seen: Next to Travis Hamonic at all times
Contract status: Signed through 2013-14, $550K salary in 2012-13 ($550k cap hit)
Obligatory YouTube video of: The goal that started the playoff run?
Thoughts on 2012-13: Andrew MacDonald is a curious case when it comes to talent evaluation. He was originally a 6th round pick in 2006, so to have made it to 200+ games in the show and a consistent top-four role is certainly excellent. On the other hand, it's still far from certain that MacDonald deserves the spot in the Islanders top-two that he has occupied for the last two-plus seasons, moreso last year as MacDonald and defensive partner Travis Hamonic were heavily relied upon.
MacDonald is a integral part of the Islanders defense by ice time; he's led the team in average time on ice for each of the last three seasons, which is quite a feat. Whether it's a factor of that ice time or not, he's also led the team in blocked shots for each of the past three seasons. Clearly, he's an important piece of the team that has been heavily relied upon. But the question we're really here to answer today is; did he succeed in the role last year?
Offensively, MacDonald is not known for his contributions but he matched a .25 point per game pace each of the past two seasons. Defensively, his +/- has been in the neighborhood of even, which isn't bad considering he's been on a team that's not a juggernaut and he's likely been matched up against the best opponents. As for the advanced statistics, they match up similarly to Travis Hamonic's. MacDonald's corsi relative is -10.8, while Hamonic's was -11.4 and MacDonald played against slightly tougher competition, .8 compared to .73.
As I said about Hamonic, MacDonald played OK against tough competition. The difference, for me anyway, is that MacDonald has been in this minutes-heavy, top-flight role for a few years now so the standard of performance should be a bit higher than Hamonic who has really only recently been given the extra time. Because of that, I give MacDonald a bit lower grade. He did his job, but aside from the blocked shots, it wasn't particularly outstanding.
One additional note about MacDonald is that this is a contract year. He's certainly due a raise from the the $550,000 cap hit he is due this season (that's less than everyone on last season's final roster save for Joe Finley). He's certainly due a raise and the Islanders shouldn't want to let him go, but with so many defensive prospects coming up in the system, how does he fit into the long-term plan?
Add your thoughts and post-season grades in the comments.