To say that Adam Mascherin has a knack for scoring points is an understatement.
After all, the offensively-inclined winger has a proven track record up to this point, recording 293 points in 259 regular season games over his four-year OHL career with the Kitchener Rangers. That success was enough for the Florida Panthers to draft Mascherin 38th overall in the 2016 entry draft.
The story of what happened next has never been fully told in public, but the relationship between Mascherin and the Panthers steadily deteriorated, which led to the prospect’s decision to not sign an entry-level contract with Florida and re-enter the draft in 2018.
Mascherin was something of a wild card going into the draft this past June. Sure, he went as high as the second round the first time around and kept producing points in the OHL, including a 100-point season in 2016-17, but there were concerns about what transpired between him the Panthers and whether his combination of short stature (at about 5-foot-10) and below-average skating speed would hinder his ability to succeed at the professional level.
For a team with a reputation for leaning too much on “safe” picks at the draft, the Dallas Stars made a high-risk, high-reward decision when they selected Mascherin in the fourth round, 100th overall, this past June.
As of right now, he’s making them look wise for that decision.
The stocky winger has been on fire lately, scoring six goals and one assist over his past four games, bringing his season totals up to nine goals and 15 points in 20 AHL games. Those are pretty impressive numbers for a 20-year-old AHL rookie.
Mascherin’s size and skating are still concerns, but he makes up for them by possessing an absolutely lethal shot, good puck control, and elite offensive vision. He’s the type of player who needs the right linemates to thrive, but the good news is that he seems to have found them, getting placed recently next to speedy playmakers in Justin Dowling and Denis Gurianov. The line has been a revelation for the Texas Stars since being put together, with Dowling and Gurianov creating a lot of offensive chances and Mascherin using his specialties to finish them off.
Adam Mascherin's night to remember ( + + = ) pic.twitter.com/UZ7UhfIGfW— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) November 26, 2018
Mascherin still has a long way to go before he’s NHL-ready, as he’ll need to keep perfecting his strengths and working on his foot speed in the AHL over the next couple of seasons. However, if he can continue to find ways to produce points in the AHL, it bodes well for his chances of translating those points to the NHL one day.
The Texas Stars came out of a busy three-in-three this past weekend with some positive results, winning two out of the three games, including the hardest one on Sunday when they were at their most tired. They dominated the Milwaukee Admirals 4-1 on Friday before stumbling in a 6-3 loss on Saturday to the Grand Rapids Griffins, but they made a statement by then wrapping things up with a 7-4 blowout of the Chicago Wolves.
Joel L’Esperance continues to be an enormous difference-maker for the team, as he scored five points in the three games and played a heavy, aggressive two-way game when he wasn’t scoring. Centering a line between veterans Travis Morin and Erik Condra, he is currently riding a five-game point streak, and his 21 points are the most among all AHL rookies.
Ben Gleason is taking what he learned during his time up in Dallas and applying it down in the AHL, managing the puck responsibly and using his creativity and vision to create offensive chances. He currently leads all Texas defenders with 13 points in 18 games.
The points haven’t been there yet for Nick Caamano since turning pro, but they’re starting to come. He scored twice in Sunday’s win over Chicago.
Ondrej Vala was recently called up from the ECHL and played all three weekend games, bumping John Nyberg to the press box as a healthy scratch.
North American Juniors
Center Ty Dellandrea missed two weeks of action due to an undisclosed injury, but certainly didn’t seem like he missed a beat upon returning, scoring five goals and an assist in six games for the Flint Firebirds. Keeping his recent hot streak alive, he has recorded 23 points in his last 15 games.
Speaking of hot streaks, boy, how about Jason Robertson? The lethal power forward has been absolutely unstoppable since his recent trade to the Niagara IceDogs, picking up 14 points in five games with his new club. He currently sits second in OHL scoring, with 52 points in 29 games.
The Stars’ 2016 sixth round pick Brett Davis underwent a pretty big change last week, getting traded from the Kootenay Ice to the Red Deer Rebels. It’s a significant turn of fate, as Davis goes from one of the worst teams in the WHL to a division leader. He acclimated himself to his new team quite well on Sunday, scoring two goals and an assist in just his second game with the Rebels. Highlights of his performance, including a beautiful shorthanded goal, can be found at this link.
After missing a couple of contests, Jermaine Lowen returned to action and had goals in back-to-back games, bringing his season totals to 10 goals and 14 points in 18 games.
Goaltender Jake Oettinger, the 26th overall pick in the 2017 draft, had himself quite a night on Saturday, stopping all 42 shots that he faced to steal a 0-0 tie for Boston University against city rivals Boston College. His first shutout of the season bumped his save percentage up to an impressive .922 on the year.
Winger Albin Eriksson has been suspended five games in the SHL as the result of this blindside hit to the head delivered in a game on Saturday. Eriksson had been playing well as of late and was putting himself into serious contention to crack Sweden’s roster for the World Juniors, but this suspension might hurt his chances.
Bjorkloven teammates Jakob Stenqvist and Jacob Peterson combined for some magic on Sunday, with Stenqvist picking up two primary assists and Peterson scoring the overtime game-winning goal in a 4-3 win over HC Vita Hasten. Highlights of the game can be found at this link. Stenqvist scored a total of five assists over three games this past week.