MacDonald, Leibinger return to Mallards

MOLINE, Ill.– The Quad City Mallards have re-signed forward Josh MacDonald and defenseman/forward Chris Leibinger for the 2017-18 season.

The Mallards are the ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's Vegas Golden Knights and the American Hockey League's Chicago Wolves.

Last season the 23-year-old MacDonald scored 15 points (6g-9a) while posting a plus/minus rating of +4 in 22 games with the Mallards after arriving in a February trade with the Rapid City Rush. The London, Ontario, native totaled 52 points (23g-29a) in 67 games between the Mallards and Rush. MacDonald went on to lead the Mallards with six points (1g-5a) in five Kelly Cup playoff games.

MacDonald totaled 31 points (15g-16a) and was a +10 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 131 points (70g-61a) 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 Saginaw, Mich. native also played in each of the Mallards’ five playoff games and picked up a pair of postseason assists.

Leibinger scored 15 points (9g-6a) 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 35 points (13g-22a) 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.