He's been the heart and soul leader of the Moose Jaw Warriors for the past two seasons and now his career will be extending past the WHL.
Warriors' captain Kendall McFaull signed a professional try-out contract with the AHL's Oklahoma City Barons on Thursday and will report to the team after the Warriors season ends this weekend.
“It's a standard player contract for the remainder of this season, so I have a month, or two months, to prove myself and then after that, I'm back to being a free agent and have to earn myself another contract,” stated McFaull.
The deal had apparently been in the works for a couple of months with the Edmonton Oilers scouting the overage defenceman throughout this season.
“Duane Sutter, who scouts for the Oilers, had been watching me a bit and I had a meeting with him about a month and a half ago,” McFaull explained. “He said that he liked the way I played and I had made his sort list, but it was out of his hands and up to the Oilers' brass to make a decision.”
The NHL team liked that they saw and gave McFaull a call to come finish off the season with the Barons. “I hadn't heard anything for a while, so I wasn't sure if the opportunity was still there, I was hoping, but also getting geared up to go to school and then my agent said there was an opportunity to go play in OKC and I jumped all over it,” said the Rosetown native.
“It was a long time coming, I would have liked to have had something done a bit sooner, but better late than never,” said McFaull, who was originally drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the sixth round, 155th overall, of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
One of only three two-time captains of the Warriors, McFaull has really been the undisputed leader on and off the ice for this year's team. The organization went with a much younger line-up this season and he took many of the younger players under his wing and served essentially as a fourth coach on the roster.
“I knew coming in that if I could be a good leader and contribute more offensively that would help,” stated McFaull on how this season helped his stock. “Playing with Morgan (Rielly) definitely helped. I got power play time this year with it being a young team, where I never usually did, and that helped my production.”
This season has been McFaull's best in terms of scoring. He's posted career-highs in assists with 15 and points with 20, and is also one goal off tying his career-high with five this season.
The modest McFaull gives a lot of the credit for that boost in numbers to Rielly, who he said was one of the first people he told about the deal, “Playing with him definitely helped, just the way he conducts himself on the ice and the skill calibre that he is, helped me raise my game.”
The four-year Warrior will play his final two games in black and red coming up this weekend. Moose Jaw hosts the Brandon Wheat Kings on Friday night at Mosaic Place and then heads to Westman Place on Saturday to end the year.
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