BY MATT MACKINDER
Clarkston News Staff Writer
On the heels of two successful seasons with the Metro Jets junior hockey team in Fraser, stalwart defenseman Devlin Macaulay is moving on.
This week, the 20-year-old Clarkston native committed to play NCAA Division III hockey at New England College, a small, private school in Henniker, N.H., that plays in the New England Hockey Conference.
The team already boasts former Jets players Connor Inger and Andrew Kormos, both of whom were Macaulay’s teammates during the 2017-18 season.
“NEC has an incredible hockey program,” Macaulay said. “Going off to college can be tough not knowing anyone, especially traveling so far to the East Coast, so knowing Inger and Kormos will really be very helpful and even more since they came from the same culture I did.
“As a freshman, it’s expected for my role to change and be different than what is was playing here for the Jets. My goal is to identify that role as quickly as possible and be the best one at it.”
In the classroom, Macaulay, a 2017 Lake Orion High School graduate, will be going into the business program with an eye on getting an MBA in four years while being a part of the accelerated program at NEC.
As part of the Jets’ national championship-winning team in 2018, Macaulay tallied three goals and 12 points in 44 games before doubling his output this season with five goals and 25 points over 40 games as the Jets again played in the national championship game.
Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville said the improvement Macaulay showed from last season to this season was very noticeable.
“We would like to congratulate ‘Mac’ on his well-deserved opportunity and commitment,” said Quenneville. “He truly worked hard for this and came to the rink every day with the right work ethic and mindset. He’s a coachable player and drew a lot of attention here with the Jets from NCAA programs. There is a job at every level for players like Mac that do the little things, play the game hard on both sides of the puck and is mature about putting in the work every day. We are fortunate that our players get looked at by top NCAA programs like NEC. In the end, he picked a high-end program under Tom Carroll and Travis Banga.”
“His size, physicality, and heavy shot have always been strengths of his game but over the last couple years Mac has learned to put himself into better position on the ice to use those strengths,” added Jets associate head coach Jamie Lovell. “He’s simplified his game and doesn’t overhandle the puck any more, making simple quick plays, becoming a solid, reliable defender, who can play in all situations. There will always be room for a player like Mac at the next level.”
Macaulay said he’ll always cherish his two seasons playing for the Jets.
“Without Metro, none of these opportunities would have been available for me and for ‘Q,’ Jamie, (Jets assistant coach) Randy Wilson and the other guys on the coaching staff to give me all the right tools and invest in me over the past two years, I couldn’t be more thankful,” said Macaulay. “Obviously, parents and grandparents have always been my greatest supporters and stood by my side through everything. I also have my mentor/trainer and the group I work out with over the summer for again creating a small culture that push one another to constantly get better in the offseason.
“Two things I’ll remember the most is how amazing it felt to win a national championship and coming together as a team to accomplish something bigger than ourselves. I’ll also remember the feeling of losing a championship after coming so close and using that feeling to push myself this upcoming season and in everything I do.”