Were Adam Mascherin two inches taller, it’s entirely possible we’re introducing him as the 24th overall prospect in our profile series. Height genuinely does matter though so he’s not. Mascherin enters the conversation as the 34th ranked prospect in our countdown.
Mascherin, a versatile forward for the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL, can play both forward and wing — though he was used primarily as a winger, alongside premier centre and former second-round draft pick, Jeremy Bracco. That top line was dominant for the Rangers in the regular season and found a second gear in the first round of the OHL playoffs against the Windsor Spitfires.
The Rangers enjoyed a breakout offensive performance from Mascherin as the second-year junior posted north of a point-per-game performance, notching 81 points in 65 games — 12 points in 9 playoff games, too. Most impressive is that Mascherin built these totals with a heavy percentage of primary points; Mascherin’s 64 primary points are third in the OHL among draft eligible players and account for 79% of his total production.
- Age: 17, 1998-06-06
- Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Frame: 5’10”, 205 lbs.
- Position: C/W
- Handedness: L
- Draft Year Team: Kitchener Rangers
- Accomplishments/Awards: 2013/14 GTHL Player of the Year, 2014-15 OHL All-Rookie Team
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One of the top-scoring under-18 players in the CHL this season, the former No. 2 overall pick in his OHL draft was a dominant player for long stretches. I polled a lot of scouts about Mascherin, and the common themes were “goal scorer” and “elite shot.” While Mascherin can snipe it from a distance, he has other strong attributes to his game. He has above-average puck skills and shows great overall offensive instincts. Mascherin is able to find teammates, anticipate where the play is going and find ways to put himself in the right position. Overall, his team dominates the puck when he’s on the ice. He’s small, but he’s a very strong and competitive forward who wins more battles than he should for a smaller guy. Mascherin’s biggest flaw is his skating. He is a roughly average skater and notably below-average for a smaller player, in terms of his speed and first-step agility. This hinders his defensive play and prevents him from being too dangerous rushing through the neutral zone.
March 2016 – At 5’10” it is easy to dismiss Mascherin as a “small player” and that is not entirely accurate. Yes he is short by pro hockey standards, but he is not small. He is 205 pounds and strong as an ox. He is built like a fire hydrant and has excellent skating ability. He has explosive acceleration and a high-end top gear. Mascherin has a deadly shot, hard, quick and accurate and controls the puck well at top speed. His game is reminiscent of Phil Kessel, but stronger and not yet quite as gifted offensively. Peter Harling
Prolific scoring winger that combines an exceedingly high work ethic with speed, skill, and a mature approach to the game to overcome size differentials. An intense competitor with a booming shot, Mascherin finds ways to score by outworking the opposition. He may not be the tallest player on the ice, but he isn’t a lightweight either. He plays a fast, heavy game and isn’t afraid to battle against tougher opponents. All-in-all, a lightning rod kind of player that will exceed expectations and bring energy to the game with each shift.
Mascherin possesses a full offensive toolkit and brings everything to the table you could hope for in a scoring forward. In a perfect world, Mascherin grows another inch or two and assuages any concerns one might reasonably have about his ability to compete physically against grown men in higher levels of competition. By that same token, Mascherin’s stocky 200+ lbs. build and ability to ward off defenders certainly help his cause.
It’s not just Mascherin’s size which makes him a difficult match for physically developed defenders, but his speed and general slipperiness. Thanks to the hard work of Jeremy Crowe, I can tell you that Mascherin entered the offensive zone with control on 73% of his entries, over the course of a seven game sample. Mascherin was also a positive possession player in this sample, with a 52% Corsi For.
There’s a case to be made that Mascherin possesses one of, if not the single best shot in the draft. He has no qualms using it either, as Mascherin launched nearly four shots a game on net. His shot plot reflects as much, and indicates a trigger happy nature and willingness to launch the puck from, well, everywhere and anywhere.
When viewed through the lens of pGPS, Mascherin’s closest comparable players include the likes of Derek Roy and Mike Richards. Just over 40% of statistical and stature based comparable players go on to have successful NHL careers — relatively successful ones at that, as his pGPS P/GP is an impressive 0.7.
Frankly, the scouting community and we (the royal we, of course) have likely done a grave disservice to Mascherin’s ability, labelling him almost exclusively as a second-round prospect. It’s hard to say whether this speaks to quality depth in this draft or bias based on height. Perhaps it’s both. Whatever the case, one could reasonably argue that Mascherin is – or should be – a first-round talent.
Only time will tell if an NHL team is among those convinced. They’d certainly be within their right to make the call.