Shawn McBride Brings AHL Experience to 2021-22 Steelheads
BOISE, Idaho - The Idaho Steelheads have signed forward Shawn McBride to an ECHL Standard Player Contract (SPC) for the 2021-22 season, marking his first professional contract after a four-year collegiate career, Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Everett Sheen announced on Friday.
"There's a lot of former pro hockey players here in [Victoria, B.C.]," said McBride. "It's such a small community, and we all keep in touch. I've heard nothing but good things about how the organization is run and the people there. If you look back, you can see how competitive the Steelheads have been. I've been on the East Coast for the last five years, so it'll be really nice being closer to home."
McBride, 26, last played during the 2019-20 season, splitting time between the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL) and the Norfolk Admirals, earning a combined two goals and 11 assists for 13 points with four penalty minutes through 53 games with both goals coming in Hartford. The Victoria, B.C. native made his ECHL debut on Oct. 23, 2019 against South Carolina and earned seven assists before being recalled by Hartford for the rest of the pandemic-shortened season. He made his professional debut with Hartford on Apr. 6, 2019 and gained his first professional point the following night against Binghamton.
The 6-foot-2 forward did not play professional hockey during the 2020-21 season but is not the only Steelheads player to do so-Will Merchant also sat out last season. Due to factors out of his control because of the pandemic and abbreviated 2020-21 season, plans with other organizations fell through, and instead of joining a team late decided to take time off to help prepare for the upcoming season. That paid off in multiple ways but ultimately brought the love of the game back to the forefront.
"I just decided to come home, regroup and get ready for the following year. It was kind of nice to be able to be home more and get to spend more time with family, so that was a bonus. I continued with my trainer for the year off. I've never had that much time lifting and working out in the gym, so I was able to make some strides there. It just fueled my fire; it made me miss the game and the competition.
"It made motivated to find a good place this season to try and make a run for a championship. Hartford was a first-place team when I got called up. I had some great veteran guys to show me the way in my first year of pro hockey. I grew a lot as a player and wasn't getting taken out of the lineup by the end of the year on a top AHL team. I can always draw from that experience."
"Shawn brings some AHL experience to our lineup," said Sheen. "He is a responsible two-way forward who thinks the game well and makes his line mates better around him. After taking a year off, he will be refreshed and hungry to prove himself again."
Prior to his professional career, McBride played four seasons at American International College (AIC) from 2015-16 through 2018-19, boasting 61 points (19-42-61) through 151 games. He was named Captain during his senior season which not only was a career season with 23 points (4-19-23) but also the first Atlantic Hockey Association Championship in program history as well as the first of three-straight titles for the school that stretch through this past season. He was also an assistant captain in 2017-18.
"I was in Norfolk before getting called up [in 2019] and remember that series against the Steelheads, and I knew how much I hated playing against them," chuckled McBride. "It was a good-structured team that was tough to play and took all three on the road. I'm excited to see Boise and check that out. I'm just itching to get going."
McBride is the 13th Steelheads player and eighth forward announced to an ECHL contract for the 2021-22 season, joining Zack Andrusiak, Luc Brown, Colby McAuley, Will Merchant, David Norris, Jake Pappalardo and A.J. White as well as defensemen Darren Brady, Casey Johnson, and Evan Wardley and goaltenders Matt Jurusik and Jake Kupsky. Future announcements and signings will be announced throughout the summer, and you can follow who's been added on the team's Summer Signing Tracker.
The Steelheads 25th Anniversary Reunion Game kicks off the 2021-22 season on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 7:00 p.m. at Idaho Central Arena! Tickets go on sale on Wednesday, Sep. 15 at 10:00 a.m. Season tickets and flex plans are available ahead of the Home Opener on Friday, Oct. 22. Call the Steelheads Front Office at 208-383-0080 to plan your seats for the return of hockey to Downtown Boise! Make sure to secure your FloSports subscription for the 2021-22 season to lock in all Steelheads games and more on ECHL TV.
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ECHL Stories from September 17, 2021
- Americans Return Talented Blueliner Phil Beaulieu - Allen Americans
- Keoni Texeira Re-Signs for a Third Season in Indy - Indy Fuel
- Shawn McBride Brings AHL Experience to 2021-22 Steelheads - Idaho Steelheads
- Nailers Sign Brandon Saigeon - Wheeling Nailers
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