Preface to Jared McIsaac’s Time Has Come
The Boston Pizza Bet
Let’s get something clear right now, I’m not a betting man. When I was kid, my brother and I used to get hunches watching Major League Baseball games on TV. We would predict guys going deep. It was uncanny, but we used to get it right on a regular basis. We wouldn’t bet on it or anything like that, but we just thought it was really neat. During my university days, I placed a few bucks on sporting events here and there, you know Proline stuff, but nothing out of the ordinary. I just don’t make a lot of bets. It was a really cold night three years ago and a few local media were getting together for a few drinks at Boston Pizza after a Wildcats game. This is long before anyone ever assumed that Jared McIsaac would ever suit up for the Cats.
The regular sports banter started as usual whenever media is around, but when McIassc’s name came up I quickly said that he would be playing in the National Hockey League by 21 years old. Well, I thought one person was going to spit his beer out all over the place when I said it.
“Eags, man there is no way he’s going to do that,” they said.
“I’ll bet money that he doesn’t,” they added.
“Well, I’m not a betting man, but Jared McIsaac is one of the best skaters in the league,” I replied.
“Well as a defencemen, yeah but one of the top 5 skaters in the league, I just don’t see it Eags.”
“We shall see,” I said.
Fast forward to now. Jared McIsaac is 21 years old and is playing some of the best hockey of his short professional career, his time has finally come.
Jared McIsaac’s Time Has Come
There seemed to be a black cloud of bad luck and misfortune flying over Jared McIsaac for the longest time. Black cloud or a “perfect storm”, either way the highly touted Detroit Red Wings defensive prospect is finally experiencing clearer skies with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League. It’s been a tough go for McIsaac over the last few years, but it appears his time to flourish has finally arrived.
The pride of Truro, Nova Scotia has faced not one, but two debilitating shoulder injuries that would set anyone back years in their development. McIsaac has battled back time and time again to play the game he loves.
Jared McIsaac is finally hitting his stride and is extremely close to reaching his lifelong dream of playing at hockey’s highest level.
No one really understands what it takes to battle back from injury especially injuries like MacIsaac has suffered.
Physically dealing with injuries is one thing it’s the mental side of the injury that takes the toll.
You see a lot of Red Wing fans believe MacIsaac to be overrated and will never live up to his draft billing, I wouldn’t bet on that.
The quiet soft-spoken defender is a fierce competitor with a mean streak that very few have ever seen, but it’s there.
Any young blueliner needs time to develop, time to enhance their skill, but it goes a lot deeper than that when you’re trying to find your way at the pro level after battling crippling injuries.
The Red Wings developmental crew made countless trips to Moncton and Halifax during his time in the QMJHL.
Some in the hockey world saw that as problematic while others as a massive indication that they believed and saw a promising and bright future in McIsaac.
The investment of time, energy and resources means a lot to any organization. Every prospect in the pipeline means something especially when the organization is going through a rebuild like the one the Red Wings are experiencing.
You can talk about the character and skill, but it’s the other intangibles that Jared McIsaac continues to to display that have solidified him as a solid pro and future NHLer.
McIsaac rehabbed both his injuries in Detroit he never left and by all accounts the organization were thrilled with his work ethic, drive and determination to get back and make it.
McIsaac’s efforts are now paying dividends.
The young defender is playing with a new found confidence, energy and competitive fire at the pro level. He didn’t have to go searching for that, it’s always been there.
In McIsaac’s case he’s finally healthy and having fun playing the game. The shy quiet kid from Truro played through agonizing pain during the Memorial Cup in 2019. There’s just no quit, in McIsaac.
On the surface some would say that there’s no urgency to his game, and when he got traded to Moncton, some critics even thought his puck moving wasn’t sharp enough to play at the next level.
15 games in with the Wildcats, the critics were no where to be found. The Red Wings continued to do recon missions and by the end just before the league and the hockey world shutdown due to the pandemic, it was clear that they were pleased with his progression, but there was still some untapped potential.
The smooth skating transitional rearguard is certainly living up to all the hype this season. He’s having a tremendously solid season for where’s he’s been.
It looked like the “perfect storm” of bad luck was still rearing its ugly head in the preseason when McIsaac was hit from behind.
“Here we go again”, was the sentiment around the hockey world when McIsaac fell to the ice.
In true McIsaac fashion, he battled back.
You see, you can always count on that, if you like to bet, you can go all in, because there’s absolutely no quit in Jared McIsaac.
His relentless pursuit to play in the NHL continues.
There’s a hell of a lot more to Jared McIsaac than people think or give credit for. His time is fast approaching.