Ontario Hockey League grad John McFarland had to cut his 2016-17 season short in December due to injuries. He appeared in 21 games with SaiPa in Finland’s Liiga. McFarland didn’t miss out on a whole lot with SaiPa finishing dead last in the Liiga.
John has signed with HC La Chaux-De-Fonds in Switzerland’s National League B for 2017-18, just two years removed from his only three National Hockey League games, with the Florida Panthers in 2015-16.
John McFarland played four seasons in the OHL from 2008-09 to 2011-12 with the Sudbury Wolves, Saginaw Spirit and Ottawa 67’s. At the 2008 OHL Priority Selection, the Wolves drafted McFarland first overall. Over his career, John played in 219 regular season games, scoring 90 and assisting on 100 for 190 points. In 22 playoff games, he added 16 points.
His career started in Sudbury but McFarland was sent to the Saginaw Spirit in December, 2010 with Ben Chiarot for Michael Sgarbossa, Alex Rocino and Frank Schumacher. At the 2011-12 deadline in January, 2012, John was shipped to the Ottawa 67’s for David Perkin and a draft pick. He played just 12 games for the 67’s before a season ending shoulder injury shut him, and his OHL career, down.
The Florida Panthers selected McFarland in the second round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, 33rd overall. Since 2012-13, John has played pro hockey in the AHL, ECHL, NHL and Finland’s Liiga. His National Hockey League experience is limited to three games with the Panthers in 2015-16.
In 2016-17, he began the season with SaiPa. In 21 games, he scored three and assisted on six. The team released McFarland on December 18, 2016 due to injuries. SaiPa placed 15th in the 15 team Liiga and did not qualify for the post season.
John McFarland is signed with HC La Chaux-De-Fonds in Switzerland’s National League B for the 2017-18 season.
HC La Chaux-De-Fonds
The franchise has existed in some form since 1939 and plays home games at the Patinoire des Melezes in La Chaux-De-Fonds, Switzerland, a 6,800 seat venue that opened in 1953. The team finished second in the NLB in 2016-17 and fell in the semi-finals.
They have reached the post season each season since 2006-07 and went to the finals in 2007-08 and 2008-09. La Chaux-De-Fonds was promoted to the NLA for 2000-01 but won just four games in regulation time and the team was relegated back to the NLB for 2001-02.
La Chaux-De-Fonds is a city in northwest Switzerland, on the border with France. The population is around 40,000 and the area is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is historically known for its watch manufacturing.