Vancouver Canucks prospect Patrick McNally kicked off Harvard University team amid reported academic scandal
Fourth-round draft pick Patrick McNally talks to reporters at a Vancouver Canucks prospects evaluation camp in July 2010.
Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann, PNG files
VANCOUVER — Patrick McNally, a defenceman who was a fourth-round draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks in 2010, has been removed from the Harvard University hockey team amid a reported academic scandal.
McNally is one of four Harvard players who has left the team and will not return this season, a university spokesman said Tuesday.
"I can confirm that they are no longer on the 2012-13 roster," Jeff Selesnick, assistant director of athletic communications, said in a telephone interview. "In terms of duration or nature of that absence, I really can't elaborate on that to any degree."
Selesnick said the four players would be eligible to return next year, but added: "I'm not sure what their intent is. I can't speak to their intent."
Harvard's student newspaper, The Crimson, reported some of the removals may be related to an academic scandal that rocked the university this past summer.
McNally and teammates Max Everson and Mark Luzar were all removed from the Harvard roster last week. Stephen Michalek left the program last month.
“Some guys had to take a year absent," Harvard goalie Raphael Girard told The Crimson. "I won’t say any names, but like any other team, we might have some problems with the academic scandal."
College Hockey News reported this week that the action could be related to an investigation Harvard launched in August into students who were enrolled in a government class were alleged to have plagiarized answers or inappropriately collaborated on the class’s final take-home exam.
The Canucks offered only a brief comment on McNally.
"We can confirm that Patrick McNally is no longer on the 2012-13 Harvard men's hockey roster and is taking a leave of absence from the university," assistant general manager Laurence Gilman said Tuesday. "We cannot speculate on the duration of the absence and will not comment further on the nature of his leave at this time."
McNally, a 21-year-old, 6-2, 190-pound defenceman, had three points in seven games this season. He was named to the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference all-rookie squad after a 28-point campaign as a freshman last season.
Gilman said Dave Gagner, the Canucks' director of player development, has spoken with McNally.
"He's in somewhat regular contact with all our players and it's no different in Patrick's case," Gilman said. "We did know about Patrick's circumstances in advance of it becoming known to the public."
Gilman would not comment on McNally's plans. If he signed any kind of pro deal, McNally would lose his collegiate eligibility and would not be able to return to Harvard next year.
Michalek, one of the four players who has left the Harvard team, recently joined the Cedar Rapids Roughriders of the United States Hockey League, the top junior circuit south of the border. The USHL could be an option for McNally, a native of Glen Head, N.Y. who was drafted out of the Milton Academy in Massachusetts.
In his senior year at Milton, McNally had 22 goals and 51 points in 28 games.
Canucks general manager Mike Gillis spoke highly of McNally after selecting him 115th overall in the 2010 draft.
“He’s going to go to Harvard and is a bright young guy and his father is an FBI agent,” Gillis said at the time. “He’s an offensive, skating defenceman and we think he’s got a tremendous amount of potential.”
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