Mason McTavish, No. 2 in NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking of North American skaters for the 2021 NHL Draft, is the type of player any NHL team would want as its centerpiece, according to Joey Tenute of Central Scouting.
“The different elements of his game that he brings, the physical play, the mix of skill and power, scores in multiple ways, sniping ability, goes to the net, does the dirty work,” Tenute said of the forward on the latest episode of the “NHL Draft Class” podcast. “Just an elite player, total package type of guy that I can really see an NHL team building their franchise around.”
The 2021 Draft will be held virtually, with the first round scheduled for July 23, and rounds 2-7 on July 24. The Buffalo Sabres, who won the NHL Draft Lottery on June 2, have the No. 1 pick. The Seattle Kraken, who begin play next season, will pick No. 2.
McTavish (6-foot-1, 207 pounds) scored 11 points (nine goals, two assists) in 13 games with EHC Olten in the Swiss League, the second-highest professional league in Switzerland. The 18-year-old also scored 11 points (five goals, six assists) in seven games to help Canada win the 2021 IIHF Under-18 World Championship.
McTavish plays for Peterborough in the Ontario Hockey League but was one of several top OHL prospects to play at least part of the season in Europe because the league did not play this season because of COVID-19 restrictions.
“Pretty impressive to see him go over there against that level of competition and older players,” Tenute said. “Going over to Europe is tough as it is for a player at any age. For him to adapt quickly and find a leading role on that team was impressive.
“… I think that Mason is going to be a heart and soul-type guy at the NHL level, a guy that is really at the forefront when a game is on the line. I can see him really being a leader for a franchise for years to come.”
Tenute also discussed a number of other top OHL prospects, including Barrie defenseman Brandt Clarke and Flint forward Brennan Othmann, as well as the difficulties in scouting OHL prospects, some of whom were unable to play this season.
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Listen: New episode of NHL Draft Class