Flyers counting on MacDonald to play huge role

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Andrew MacDonald logged 21:59 minutes per game and blocked 44 shots in 19 contests with the Philadelphia Flyers last season, but they’ll be depending on him even more in his first full campaign with the team.

With Kimmo Timonen out indefinitely due to blood clots, MacDonald is projected to play on the team’s top defensive pairing with Braydon Coburn after mostly skating with Luke Schenn during his stint with Philadelphia last season.

“The good thing is that Mac’s not a totally new guy coming in,” Coburn said, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I got to see him a lot last year with other guys, and got to play with him a little. I got to know where he likes the puck and where he likes to be.”

MacDonald was acquired from the New York Islanders at the trade deadline. Philadelphia then made a big commitment to the 28-year-old defenseman by signing him to a six-year, $30 million deal over the summer.

He’s used to logging big minutes with the New York Islanders, although they’ve been a rebuilding team for most of his career while the Flyers are hoping to win now. He had 28 points and a league-high 242 blocked shots last season.