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Graduated Prospect: Mason McTavish
By Thomas Harrington
With the prospect profiles done and the NHL Draft behind us, it’s time to look at the NHL prospects who graduated this past season, and there’s only one: Mason McTavish.
Anaheim’s first round pick from the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, McTavish just finished a very good rookie season. While he didn’t put up over 60 points like Trevor Zegras did, he still finished the year with 17 goals and 43 points in 80 games. More impressively, he started out the season playing in the team’s bottom six, but he continued to excel and was eventually promoted to a spot in Anaheim’s top six. He saw quite a bit of powerplay time. He had a career high four points against San Jose in January
Among all NHL rookies, McTavish finished fifth in goals and assists and third in points. He ended up finishing seventh in Calder Trophy voting for rookie of the year. With the Ducks, he finished fourth in assists and points and fifth in goals. In Anaheim’s history, McTavish is fourth overall in points by a rookie, fifth in assists, and sixth in goals. It was McTavish’s promotion to the top powerplay unit where he really started to shine, and his seven powerplay goals led the team, while his 14 powerplay points were second only to Zegras’ 17.
McTavish more than met my expectations for him over this past year. There were three things that I wanted to see out of him. First, to play in at least 60 games with the Ducks. Well, he shattered that mark by 20 games. Second, to be in the Calder Trophy discussion. While he wasn’t a finalist, finishing seventh in Calder voting is certainly in the discussion. While this year’s rookie class didn’t have a ton of star power, it was a deep class, with 13 different players receiving at least one vote. Finally, I wanted him to put up some points on the man advantage. Leading the team in powerplay goals and being second in powerplay points means he hit that mark as well.
McTavish still has two more years left on his entry-level deal and I fully expect him to be re-signed once it’s complete. The Ducks could extend him as early as next summer; however, it seems like Pat Verbeek likes to let a contract for a restricted free agent end before negotiating a new deal. It’s what he did with Zegras, Troy Terry, and Jamie Drysdale.
Personally, if McTavish follows up a solid rookie season with a great sophomore year, I’d be fine with extending him a year early. But it’s not a bad thing to want to see a player put together three good to great years in a row before giving them a long term contract. While I don’t know if McTavish will get a max eight year deal or not, I do think that it’s a definite possibility, especially if he becomes a dominant forward over the next two seasons. The contract that Zegras signs could give insight into what Verbeek would be willing to give McTavish when it’s his turn to be extended.
Anaheim hasn’t had a great team over the past few seasons. As a result, there are a lot of young, up-and-coming players who look ready to make a big impact. We’ve already seen it from Zegras, and hopefully McTavish will follow suit.
With the lone graduated prospect now complete, it’s time for the prospect updates. First up is defenseman Noah Warren.
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July 13th, 2023