2021 NHL Draft Profile: Mason McTavish

This year, the Chicago Blackhawks own the 11th overall selection in the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft. We started our breakdowns of potential draft targets for the Blackhawks earlier this week. But the Hawks will have plenty of options when they’re on the clock.

Thus far we have discussed forwards Matthew Coronado and Chaz Lucius. Let’s now dig deep on Mason McTavish.

Mason McTavish
6-1 / 207
Peterborough (OHL)

Ranked #11 by TSN/McKenzie
Ranked #2 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #16 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #9 by SPORTSNET’S
Ranked #15 by FCHOCKEY
Ranked #21 by NEUTRAL ZONE
Ranked #13 by SMAHT SCOUTING

From Corey Pronman (The Athletic)

#9 overall prospect
Skating: Below-average
Puck Skills: Average
Hockey Sense: Average
Compete: Above-average
Shot: Above-average

“McTavish was good in Switzerland’s second-tier pro league, with the OHL season canceled, and great at the U18 worlds for Canada. McTavish has always shown he can score — and in numbers. He can attack defenses in numerous ways in the offensive zone with his NHL-caliber skill, vision and shot. He is a creative player who tries to make things happen. He has the shot to score from range versus pros and is very good at creating around the net. He works hard enough to win a lot of puck battles. The main flaw in McTavish’s skill set is his skating, as he will be OK in the NHL in that regard but will struggle to create separation. In a sentence, McTavish projects as a strong top-six forward in the NHL, a second-line center or a low-end first-line wing.”

From Chris Peters’ Hockey Sense

#7 overall prospect
“One of the biggest risers of the top-tier prospects in the class, McTavish stepped out and made his presence known at the World U18 Championship. He has toughness, grit and some general nastiness to his game, but then he’s got all of this talent as well. His vision is high end in this class and he can make so many plays under duress. McTavish protects the puck well and can extend plays with both strength and skill. He has good defensive sense and provides a good effort as a two-way player. McTavish, however, is not a particularly strong skater relative to other top players. He can make up with that with his strength and hockey sense, though. Versatility is such a key in today’s game and I think McTavish has proven time-and-time again he’s got that. Whether it was against pros in Switzerland, his peers in the World U18s or last season in the OHL, McTavish brings a lot of attractive traits that have allowed him to be an especially productive player.”

From LastWordonHockey.com

McTavish has a good first step and accelerates quickly. This helps him to get to loose pucks as well as quickly change speeds to elude a defender. However, his skating stride is still a little short and this limits his top-end speed. McTavish will never be confused for a speedster but could improve his speed with a bit of work on his technique. He has a strong lower body. This allows McTavish to maintain good balance and be strong on the puck. He can fight through checks and get to the front of the net. He is also good along the boards. McTavish has good edgework and lateral agility. His quick lateral movements and changes in direction allow him to avoid defenders, both in the neutral zone and on the cycle.

Offensive Game
McTavish is a pure goal scorer. He has an outstanding wrist shot. It is very accurate and has very good power. His quick hands allow him to vary his release and fool goaltenders. McTavish also has a very good one-timer, getting himself open on the power play and firing it on the net. Willing to play a gritty game, McTavish gets to the front of the net, causing havoc with screens. He can also score goals in tight, using his backhand to get the puck up and over the goaltender quickly. McTavish has the hand-eye coordination to get deflections, short one-timers, and pounce on rebounds. He is a smart player, always finding open ice without the puck and setting himself up to take a pass and get a scoring chance.

While he is known for his goal-scoring, McTavish can also be a playmaker. He has good vision and can pass the puck through tight spaces or saucer it over sticks and set up a teammate. McTavish controls the puck down low, as he is tough to stop in the cycle game. His puck control and puck protection allow him to maintain possession and wait for teammates to get open. He is also good on the forecheck and in battles along the boards. By forcing the opponent into mistakes, his team is able to regain possession and create offence.

Defensive Game
McTavish also does a good job in his own end of the ice. He works hard on the backcheck and supports the defence down low. He combines his size and strength with a quick stick to help defend against the cycle game. McTavish forces attackers to the outside and is not afraid to throw a hit or battle for a loose puck. His stick is quick and he is good at closing down passing lanes. McTavish is also good in the face-off circle. When a turnover is created, McTavish uses his passing skills to start the transition game and get the offence started.

Projection and Comparison
McTavish has the ability to play both centre and wing. With his strong defensive game, and his ability to win faceoffs, he could be a very good two-way centre at the next level. However, he will need continued work on his skating to stay in the middle. However, he should still be an NHLer, even if he has to transition to the wing. McTavish should be back in the OHL next season as he needs a bit more development before he is ready to go to the NHL. It could even be a couple years and some time in the AHL. However, once he makes the league, he should be a reliable forward who can be used in all situations. McTavish’s game is reminiscent of Jeff Carter. However this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.

29 thoughts on “2021 NHL Draft Profile: Mason McTavish

  • June 26, 2021 at 8:32 am

    With the exception of ‘Hockey Sense’, this is probably what they would have said about Wayne Gretzky.
    (based on a conversation with a former NHL All-Star who was in charge of Player Development for an NHL club)

    Skating: Below-average
    Puck Skills: Average
    Hockey Sense: Average
    Compete: Above-average
    Shot: Above-average

  • June 26, 2021 at 8:36 am

    That Mason McTavish is a tough 200 lb er ! He played for the Pete’s and then in the high speed Swiss League and he’s only 18 ! Maybe a great gem ! Pops

  • June 26, 2021 at 10:37 am

    Not counting the #2 for NA skaters only (but nice to know) as low as #5 and high as #29. Throw out the low and high then we have from #9 to #21. Would be happy with the pick.

  • June 26, 2021 at 10:59 am

    Hummmm… skating : Below average
    Compete: Above average
    Shot : Above Average
    Iff the guy compete and is a hard working player he will probably succeed iff he is willing to work on is skating .
    Maybe the Hawks will go with a Goalie or a Dman also .?…who knows ?

  • June 26, 2021 at 11:10 am

    I saw a couple of his U18 World Championship games and my takeaway was he was undisciplined in a bull in a China shop kind of way – An Andrew Shaw type of player in that regard. I’m not sure that’s the type of player worthy of the #11 pick, especially with his “below average” skating. I wouldn’t be terribly disappointed with taking him but my goodness there must be someone with above average skating we can find to select.

    Jeff Carter skates like the wind so that comparison falls flat.

    Yes the Great Gretz wasn’t a great skater but the league has gotten a whole lot faster since he played. Skating has become more of a must than a nice to have.

  • June 26, 2021 at 11:43 am

    This is our guy for this draft! Unfortunately he will be long gone by the time puck #11 comes. Have to trade up to get him. His description fits what every team wants. Wish he could have been kept a secret .

  • June 26, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    If he’s still there at 11 I’d be delighted with McTavish as a Hawk

    If he’s not there I’ve already mentioned Svechkov who I like but also Sillinger I’d be happy with

    My secret desire is for Edvinsson to drop to the Hawks – 6’4” D man with mobility

  • June 26, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    Definitely be hard to pass up at no. 11 if still there.

  • June 26, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    I’m hoping this is the guy we get. All the boxes seem to be checked

  • June 26, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    I’d be very very much OK with McTavish being who we get.

  • June 26, 2021 at 6:19 pm

    When someone said this exact thing about TB after the didnt show up to play game 1 2 then win 3 4 5 by playing then not show up to play game 6 7. Then get beat by CLB when CLB staked there 4 lines at tradeline.

    Then TB became the top team that they were.

    I donot think VEG will become the top team in league like TB becaus ethey donot have the roster but think until COL leanrs how to play in playoffs VEG will be there every yr and one yr could win if there is a shit team in there from the East. Like how LA got to play the two worst teams in finals since salary cap started NYR NJ.

    I would put MTL as the 3rd worse/in any order NYR NJ MTL the 3 worst teams in finals since salary cap started.

    June 25, 2021 at 12:45 am
    Where does Vegas go from here.

  • June 26, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    This is the guy.

    Load top 6 with Dach Reichel Tavish. With 19 88 12 thats a good top 6 with enough young in there.

    Now go get some nasty bottom six players and two otp pair Defensemen and were ready to be a top 5 team again.

    Not a team that stacks D and goalie and rides the dust until you play a top team and hope you donot.

    Opps we have to play TB. The corona playoff formats didnt work for 4 rounds just 3.

  • June 26, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    Tim/Wrap, thats an acceptable players for this pick. Have to get a good one like Ian says.

  • June 26, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    Would Calgary swap #1s take a 2 and a 4 plus a player for Tkachuk?

  • June 26, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    Personally, I would be higher on McTavish if I thought he would stay at center..I have a feeling that winger is where he’ll end up once he reaches the NHL. However, I don’t scout professionally, and if teams think he can stick at center, he’ll be gone within the first 6-7 picks of the draft..Beniers is really the only top 5 prospect who is a true center..I see a team reaching slightly for McTavish strictly based on position scarcity, which teams shouldn’t do when drafting in the top ten, but that doesn’t stop teams from doing it every year..so I don’t think the Hawks will have to make a decision on him, as others have mentioned, he should be gone by 11..

    @jr roman..a 2nd and a 4th wouldn’t get it done, even if the Hawks gave their first rounder to Calgary. Tkachuk is the ideal in terms of what the Hawks are currently lacking within their top six..he would be a perfect complement to players like Kane, Cat, and Reichel..however, the package it would take to land his rights probably starts with two first rounders+a prospect or two..Tkachuk is probably a top 25 player in this league..it would be expensive..I would love to have him, but if a trade happened, I wouldn’t want to look at what it cost to get him..

  • June 26, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    I don’t subscribe to Hockey Sense, but I wonder who Chris Peters has the Hawks taking at 11? He was higher on Reichel last year then most, and if memory serves, he mocked Reichel to the Hawks at some point..I’d be curious to see who he thinks might be going to the Hawks this year..

  • June 27, 2021 at 8:56 am

    Just looking at Bolts roster, on verge of back to back cups and down the middle they line up:
    1C Brayden Point 5’10” 166 lbs.
    2C Anthony Cirelli 6′ 193lbs
    3C Yanni Gourde 5′ 9 173lbs
    Tyler Johnson 5’8″ 182 lbs.

    Certainly not doing it with size down the middle.

  • June 27, 2021 at 9:30 am

    M & M
    Me likes

    guessing he is gone by 11

  • June 27, 2021 at 11:30 am

    Slayer, if thats true then maybe one of five top pair Defensemen in draft is still there at 11 like Lobos or even better Edvisson.

    The last draft to be top heavy in Defensemen they all went in 8 the triplet kid going 7th and Boq going 8. So based on that Edvinsson and Lobos are not there after 8th.

    I really want and routing for one of these ‘the right one’ good players to be there for us.

    We deserve that.

  • June 27, 2021 at 11:31 am

    Silent, not going againt what your saying because its you/or anyone else just adding to topics with thoughts. Didnt want you to think that.

  • June 27, 2021 at 11:42 am

    Tim/Slayer, this is fine with me and where I see the player is better then the pick/at these times/times as in those kind of trades not these times as in right now. Even though this is the time for that. Timing.

    Not this 1st though the 22 and 23 1st picks as they will be in the 15-30 area. We need this top 10 quality player.

    probably starts with two first rounders+a prospect or two

  • June 27, 2021 at 11:44 am

    Me to Slayer.

    We really need to laod the young wave! Add as many picks as we can and use that to build another wave that can win.

    We can get the elite ufas when its time.

  • June 27, 2021 at 11:57 am

    Slayer, Chris Peters did not go beyond the top 10 picks and he threw the 2 goalies in there. He had SanJose taking McTavish at the 7th pick.

  • June 27, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    Another player who could potentially fall to the Hawks is Kent Johnson – I’ve seen him listed in many different slots in mock drafts and although he’s generally considered in the top 10 there always seems to be a surprise or two in the top 10 and maybe maybe he falls

    He’s not a power forward but has been described as the most skilled offensive player in the draft drawing Petersson and Kane comparisons

    If the Hawks were lucky enough to get him he could be the heir apparent to Kane

  • June 27, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    See this right here is why I wanted us to do alitle less good then we did for our own good and get the better draft player top 3-7 not 8-12 area. To me at worst we had to get that 8-12 area 18-25 would have been a disater and after last yr with the 9th pick being 19th pick/thats you Fing prick Bettman we could get screwed out of a top 10 quality draft playe two yrs in a row.

    He had SanJose taking McTavish at the 7th pick.

  • June 27, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    I really like the Tachuyk idea better then the Eichel for a 1st line player.

    It would start the move to nasty players with hardnose style/the style thats needed to win in playoffs/who cares about 82 game/EDM TOR numbers. We want to be HHNL quality deep with the right kind of players and thats this guy hrere to go with Hagel Barratt others.

    Just keep the 21 1st and trade the 22 and 23 1sts thats worth it to me getting a player already established that is younger then 25 then hoping one of the two 22 or 23 1sts is a player like him.

  • June 27, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    Wrap i was wondering that too about Johnson.

  • June 27, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    @timw..thanks Tim..I wasn’t sure how far Peters’ mock draft went..

    @wrap..if Johnson falls to 11, the Hawks should grab him immediately..he doesn’t have the scoring ability of Kane, but the passing, vision, and creativeness are fair comparisons..he has elite playmaker written all over him..only issue is he’s probably a future winger instead of a center..but you worry about that later..the traits alone are worth a top 11 pick..

  • June 28, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    Skating obviously matters, but there are exceptions. The guy that always comes to mind for me is Ryan O’Reilly. He is kind of slow and choppy but he is strong on his skates and seems to have a knack for cutting down the ice like a savvy boxer cuts down the ring. This is not a top 5 pick for us, so if MM ticks most of the other boxes then he could be a good pick for us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *