07/06/2021 10:41 AM
Photos: Sean Flynn Photography/Quad City Mallards
The Quad City Mallards have re-signed forward Josh MacDonald and defenseman/forward Chris Leibinger, the Mallards announced today.
Last season the 23-year-old MacDonald scored six goals and recorded nine assists for 15 points while posting a plus/minus rating of plus-four in 22 games with the Mallards after arriving in a February trade with the Rapid City Rush. The 5-foot-10-inch, 185-pound London, Ontario, native totaled 23 goals, 29 assists and 52 points in 67 games between the Mallards and Rush. MacDonald went on to lead the Mallards with six points (one goal and five assists) in five Kelly Cup playoff games.
“Signing Josh this early in the summer is huge for us,” said Mallards coach Phil Axtell. “Along with Chris Francis, he’s the second of our top five scorers to re-sign. Josh is only going into his third year of pro hockey and I think his team-leading production in the playoffs is very promising for the 2017-18 season.”
MacDonald totaled 15 goals, 16 assists and 31 points and was a plus-ten in 47 games between Rapid City and the Utah Grizzlies as a rookie in 2015-16.
MacDonald turned professional after spending four years in the Ontario Hockey League with the Barrie Colts and Peterborough Petes. MacDonald scored 70 goals and added 61 assists for 131 points in 242 career OHL games. MacDonald led Peterborough in goals (29) in 2014-15 after helping Barrie to a berth in the OHL’s J. Ross Robertson Cup finals in 2013.
Leibinger, 23, played five regular season games for the Mallards without recording a point after completing his college career at Michigan Tech in March. The 5-foot-9-inch, 175-pound Saginaw, Michigan, native also played in each of the Mallards’ five playoff games and picked up a pair of postseason assists.
“Chris was part of a culture that brought the Michigan Tech program back to its winning ways,” said Axtell. “Signing a player like Chris was a key component to our success down the stretch. His ability to play any position on the ice is an asset any team would like to have.”
Leibinger scored nine goals and notched six assists for 15 points in 45 games last season while helping Michigan Tech to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association tournament title and a second NCAA tournament appearance in three years.
Leibinger produced 13 goals, 22 assists and 35 points in 158 games over four collegiate seasons. He was named to the WCHA All-Academic Team each of the last three years.
Before beginning his college career, Leibinger competed in the junior ranks for three seasons. He skated for the Traverse City North Stars of the North American Hockey League and the Muskegon Lumberjacks and Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League.
The Mallards will open their twenty-first season- and their fourth in the ECHL- on Friday, October 13 against the Toledo Walleye at the iWireless Center. Mallards 2017-18 season tickets are now available. Season ticket holders enjoy significant savings of the walk-up ticket price and receive a host of exclusive benefits. For more season ticket information, fans can contact the Mallards at 309-277-1364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.