The Red Wings have a list of needs, and one of the biggest, for me, is the lack of talent they have down the middle. That’s why we’re taking center Mason McTavish with the 6th overall pick in SB Nation’s mock NHL Draft.
McTavish can be considered a hard-working “swiss army knife” style player — basically you can put him in any situation and he seems to find a way to thrive. What really excites me about a prospect like McTavish is that he’s relentless with the puck, and he knows how to win the important battles that can lead to puck possession and scoring chances. I’m not crazy about NHL comparisons, but many have compared his style of play to the likes of Ryan O’Reilly.
Mason McTavish - Center
Birth date: January 30, 2003
Weight: 207 lbs.
From Future Considerations:
“McTavish is a mature player that is well-rounded with a high-end shot. He’s an above-average skater with NHL size and strength. He will need to build on his explosiveness and consistency, but is one of the more NHL-ready prospects in this class.”
McTavish checks a lot of the boxes as a centerman, which I feel is a position of great need for the Red Wings. He’s good at the face-off, goes right to the net and isn’t afraid to park himself right in front of the goaltender. The big question is — will he be a center at the pro level? I don’t know if you’re getting a first-line guy, but he can play in any situation, which would make him a highly valuable building block for this team. The Red Wings are in dire need of young playmakers that can make an impact on the penalty kill. McTavish strikes me as the type of player you’d want in that role.
We didn’t hear too much about Mason McTavish this past season because he was one of the many OHL players who were left to find other opportunities due to COVID-19 halting league play. McTavish went overseas and played in one of Switzerland’s top leagues, and not a bad campaign for him — 9 goals, 2 assists in 11 games, not to mention his impressive performance in the playoff and at the WJC with Team Canada. I think playing in one of the Euro leagues was a great move, because it helps him develop at the next level. Quite frankly, I’m not sure why more North American junior players aren’t doing this.
He’s not going to wow you with his speed or skating, but he’s got all of the tools to be a 2nd or 3rd line center that you know you can rely on in any situation. There are other needs for this team, but with the glut of draft picks Detroit holds, we think McTavish is the right pick at number 6.