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A late 1998 birthdate, Mason Shaw had an absolutely huge season with the Medicine Hat Tigers. He scored 27 goals and 94 points in 71 games. He tied for 7th in WHL scoring with fellow 2017 draft prospect Cody Glass. Shaw also added 12 points in 11 playoff games, but the Tigers fell in the second round. They lost to the Lethbridge Hurricanes in seven games.
Shaw’s really coming out party came the previous year though. At the 2016 IIHF Under 18 World Championships, he scored seven points in seven games for Canada. The previous year he played for Canada Red at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge.
Mason Shaw Scouting Report: 2017 NHL Draft #63
Center/Left Wing — shoots Left
Born November 3rd, 1998 — Wainwright, Alberta
Height 5’9″ — Weight 180 lbs [175 cm / 82 kg]
In order to succeed in the NHL as a smaller forward, one needs to be a very good skater. Shaw checks that box off, and then some. He is very quick, with a great first step and excellent acceleration. He also has elite level top end speed. Shaw is one of the fastest players in this entire draft class. Added to that speed is outstanding agility and edge work. Shaw is very difficult to contain in one-on-one situations. In addition to being able to get around a defender, he is also slippery and avoids getting hit clean. Shaw has a low centre of gravity, which helps him to fight through checks. However, he can sometimes be overpowered by bigger defenders, just due to shear size.
Mason Shaw has very good vision and passing skills. He can use his agility and edge work to create seams, and get the puck through to his linemates in good scoring areas. He also has the talent to make a saucer pass over a stick, as well as the talent to fit a puck through a tight opening. His speed and elusiveness also make him dangerous on the rush. Add in very good stick handling, and Shaw is an offensive spark plug. He can also score goals. Shaw has good power and a quick release on his wrist and snap shots. He could stand to be a bit more accurate though.
Shaw’s main issue is that he doesn’t get to the dirty areas of the ice. He prefers to create things from the perimeter, than to cut to the net, or battle in the crease area. This is an area that he will have to improve going forward. Playing off the side boards will work for him on the power play, but it is not clear if it will translate into production at even strength at the next level.
Shaw shows good positioning in his own end, and a willingness to come back in his own zone. However, he must work to improve his willingness to battle for loose pucks and engage opponents in his own end. He also suffers defensively due to his size deficiency. Bigger and stronger forwards can overpower him down low and get to the front of the net.
Projection and Comparison
Mason Shaw is a boom or bust pick. He has high end offensive skills, but there are real question marks about his size, as well as his ability and willingness to engage in physical battles. He needs to be willing to fight and battle for position in front of the net, and to play in high traffic areas to succeed in the NHL. Given his game, he may transition to wing at the next level. In terms of a stylistic comparison, his game resembles Jiri Hudler of the Dallas Stars. This is not a talent based comparison though.
The following is a compilation of videos, assembled from Youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect available on our draft board.