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The best way to judge a defenseman is by, of course, their defense. And McDonagh rates out pretty well in that regard.
McDonagh had a plus/minus of plus-25, which is pretty remarkable for someone who played 25 minutes a game, against top lines.
McDonagh, who is playing for Barys Astana in the KHL during the lockout, is smart in his own end. He doesn't take too many risks. He makes strong passes out of the zone, as well.
He's willing to throw around his body, too. He had 118 hits last year along with an outstanding 182 blocks.
He's obviously physical and at 6'1", 222 pounds, he has the body to make it work.
McDonagh also played a lot on the penalty kill and his presence helped lead the Rangers to the fifth-ranked penalty kill in the league.
McDonagh's combination of smarts, physicality and skill puts him at the top of young defensemen in the league. He is a shut-down defender, and he has shown that in just 122 career games.
McDonagh's still developing, and he has what it takes to make it to the upper echelon.