By Carter Brooks
Photo courtesy of the Portage Terriers
Winnipeg-born James McIsaac has made a decision on his hockey playing/schooling future.
Early this week it was announced that the 5-foot-11, 185-pound forward has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers for the 2019-20 hockey season.
Following a brief one-year stint with the Winnipeg Thrashers of the Manitoba Midget AAA Hockey League in 2014-15, McIsaac moved on to dress in 66 games for the Winnipeg Blues of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League - the team that selected him with the third selection of the second round of the 2014 MJHL Draft - collecting 14 goals, 32 points and 57 penalty minutes in the process, before finding his way to the Portage Terriers.
Although getting his feet wet in MJHL play with the Blues, it was with the Terriers that the now 19-year-old really took off. Producing at over a point-per-game in two seasons of play, McIsaac put up 53 goals and 106 points in 100 regular season games for Portage, before also registering four goals and 14 points in two years of postseason play.
McIsaac has begun the 2018-19 season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the United States Hockey League - a Tier 1 Junior league - and has so far tallied a couple points, three penalties and a +3 rating in six USHL games. His decision to sign with the ECAC of the NCAA comes just days after fellow Manitoba Eric Fawkes also committed to RPI.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute offers degrees in five major areas, specializing in engineering. Founded in 1824, RPI is America's oldest technological institute. Currently ranked 13th best in undergraduate programs in the United States, RPI has maintained a top 50 placement in universities in the United States for the past 18 years. The Engineers struggled in 2017-18, finishing with a 6-27-4 record, but hope to improve over the course of the next two seasons.