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Behind The Bench: Jamie McBain

by on 09/22/2011


Born: Faribault, MN, USA
Birth date: February 2, 1988
Height: 6’1” (185 cm)
Weight: 194 lbs (88 kg)
Position: Defense
Shoots: Right
NHL Draft: 63rd overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006
NHL Team: Carolina Hurricanes
Jersey No.: #4
National Team: United States
NHL Contract: 11/12
Cap Hit: $850,000


McBain spent two seasons in the USNTDP between 2004 and 2006. He played a total of 107 games and tallied 12 goals and 34 assists. McBain also represented the US at the U18 WJC, where he displayed his offensive talents and tallied 2 goals and 9 assists in 6 games. Although McBain was gifted offensively as a defenseman, at times he struggled in his own zone. While many teams were unsure of how he would perform at the NHL level, Carolina had faith and drafted him 63rd overall at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

McBain spent the next three seasons committed to the University of Wisconsin of the NCAA. In his rookie season, McBain played 36 games and scored 3 goals and 15 assists. He finished the season leading all Badger defensemen in scoring and was tied for fifth overall on the team. He went on to represent the US at the WJC, helping the team capture bronze. During his sophomore season, McBain increased his offensive output and scored 5 goals, 19 assists and finished with a +11 on the season. McBain spent the season paired with rookie defender, Ryan McDonagh, and was a mentor to the young defender, helping him adjust to the speed and skill of the college game. In his last season of collegiate, McBain established himself as one of college hockey’s best rearguards. He helped lead Wisconsin to a third place finish in the WCHA but the team failed to reach the NCAA tournament due to the NCAA’s complex seeding formula. McBain finished the season with 7 goals and 30 assists in 40 games. He also finished second among NCAA defensemen and was a Hobey Baker Award candidate. McBain was named the WCHA Player of the Year for his outstanding season. McBain decided to forego his final year of collegiate and signed with the Carolina Hurricanes after the college season ended. He finished the year playing in 10 games for the Hurricanes AHL affiliate, the Albany River Rats and recorded 2 points.

McBain played most of the 2009-10 season with the Albany River Rats and was a catalyst in the club’s resurgence and unlikely playoff run that ended with a second round loss to eventual Calder Cup champions, the Hershey Bears. McBain was a dominate defenseman both in the AHL and in the NHL during his late season call-up. In 68 AHL games, McBain scored 7 goals and 33 assists. During the AHL playoffs, he scored 4 goals and 2 assists in 8 games. In 14 games with the Hurricanes late in the season, McBain recorded 3 goals and 7 points in 10 games.

The 2010-11 season marked McBain’s first full NHL season. He played 76 games and scored 7 goals and 23 assists, while quarterbacking the second power play unit and playing on the third pairing. McBain missed 6 games during the season due to a shoulder injury.

Talent Analysis


  • Able to log lots of minutes on the ice
  • Great offensive abilities
  • Good size
  • Good puck handling skills
  • Positionally sound
  • Responsible in all three zones
  • Very disciplined
  • Willing to block shots
  • Good, accurate shot from the point that he can get on net
  • Can control the tempo of the game


  • Needs to be more physical
  • Needs to improve defensive coverage in his own zone


McBain will be on the second pairing next season with Bryan Allen. Joni Pitkanen and Tim Gleason resume the season as the top pairing, while Jay Harrison and Tomas Kaberle will likely make up the third pairing. Kaberle and McBain should man the top power play unit but it will most likely be Kaberle and Pitkanen, relegating McBain to the second unit.

Barring any type of sophomore jinx, McBain should be ready to take another step in his development and challenge Pitkanen for the point lead among Carolina defensemen. Expect him to put up anywhere between 35 to 45 points next season and will eventually become a 50-60 point producer. McBain will become the Hurricanes number one defensemen by the end of this year or by next year.

NHL Highlights

  • Drafted 63rd overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft
  • 1st NHL Game Played – March 16th, 2010 vs. Boston Bruins (2-5 L)
  • 1st NHL Point – March 16th, 2010 vs. Boston Bruins (Assist)
  • 1st NHL Goal – March 20th, 2010 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 1st NHL Assist – March 16th, 2010 vs. Boston Bruins
  • 1st NHL Multi-point Game – March 20th, 2010 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (Goal and an assist)

Career Highlights

  • 2004-05 Four Nations Cup Most Outstanding Defenseman
  • 2005-06 U18 WJC All-Star Team
  • 2005-06 U18 WJC Best Defenseman
  • 2005-06 U18 WJC Gold Medal
  • 2005-06 U18 WJC Most Assists (9)
  • 2005-06 U18 WJC Most Assists by Defenseman (9)
  • 2005-06 U18 WJC Most Points by Defenseman (11)
  • 2006-07 U20 WJC Bronze Medal
  • 2008-09 Hobey Baker Award candidate
  • 2008-09 NCAA (WCHA) First All-Star Team
  • 2008-09 NCAA (WCHA) Player of the Year

Career Stats

AHL: 78 GP, 8 G, 34 A, 42 Pts
AHL Playoffs:
8 GP, 4 G, 2 A, 6 Pts
52 GP, 2 G, 12 A, 14 Pts
NAHL Playoffs:
10 GP, 0 A, 3 A, 3 Pts
111 GP, 15 G, 64 A, 79 Pts
90 GP, 10 G, 30 A, 40 Pts
103 GP, 12 G, 32 A, 44 Pts
5 GP, 1 G, 3 A, 4 Pts
6 GP, 2 G, 9 A, 11 Pts
13 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 1 Pt


From → Fantasy Hockey

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