Dryden McKay, the Hobey Baker Award-winning goaltender from Minnesota State who was recently sanctioned after testing positive for a banned substance, has signed a two-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs' AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies.
McKay received a six-month period of ineligibility for the violation, which began on April 14, the day he accepted the sanction. He was granted a three-day credit for a provisional suspension served from Jan. 31 through Feb. 2, 2022.
McKay will be eligible to voluntarily enter the organization’s facilities on August 25 and play for the Marlies as early as October 11.
Earlier this year, the 24-year-old became just the third goalie in history to win the Hobey Baker Award, following Robb Stauber in 1988 and Ryan Miller in 2001. A senior student from Downers Grove, Ill., he went 38-5-2 with a 1.31 goals-against average and .931 save percentage this season, setting an NCAA Division I record for most wins in a season.
McKay guided Minnesota State to the Frozen Four for the second year in a row this season, with the team losing 5-1 in the final against Denver.
McKay, a three-time finalist for the Mike Richter Award as the top goalie in college hockey, is undrafted in the NHL.
Last week, after an investigation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, McKay accepted a six-month “period of ineligibility” for violating an anti-doping rule. McKay tested positive for a substance called ostarine, an anabolic agent which is prohibited at all times under the USADA’s protocols.
The USADA said its investigation centred on a supplement product McKay was using prior to collection that did not list ostarine on its label, but was contaminated with the substance. The product McKay used was Quercetin, a plant-based antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that some use as an immune-booster or recovery tool for COVID, Friedman reported previously.
McKay told Friedman he had been taking Quercetin for that reason, in an effort to prevent infection from the novel coronavirus as the highly contagious Omicron variant surged across the country.
“I made the mistake of taking it,” he told Friedman. “But I could have never imagined that this would have been the result of taking something like that.”