Mississauga Steelheads: 5 Storylines to Follow in 2019-20

Although the Mississauga Steelheads are a team in transition, the ‘Trout’ are loaded with elite young talent eager to take their team to the next level. What are the keys to the Steelheads competing in the OHL’s Eastern Conference in 2019-20? Find out, here.

The Mississauga Steelheads are a team in transition, as the club has taken a significant step backwards since it reached the OHL Final during the 2016-17 season.

However, this step backwards is simply cyclical, as the vast majority of the Steelheads’ former top players have now moved on to professional careers or other organizations in the OHL — a reality which has placed considerable emphasis on Mississauga’s top young prospects. Fortunately for the Steelheads, a number of these young prospects have quickly begun to leave lasting impressions at the major-junior level — with Thomas Harley, Keean Washkurak, and Cole Schwindt being the latest of which.

As a result, it should come as little surprise to learn that the Steelheads will likely fit into the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference this coming season. However, if able to receive stellar goaltending, substantial contributions from their incoming prospects, and consistency from their veteran players, the Steelheads could rather easily give an opponent a run for their money in the opening round of the 2020 OHL Playoffs.

Five Storylines to Follow in 2019-20

If Mississauga wishes to surpass the first round of the playoffs for just the second time in their eight year history, they’ll need to receive overwhelming contributions from a handful of very particular players. If able to draw stellar season’s from the likes of Washkurak, Schwindt, Harley and Ranger, the Steelheads could prove to be somewhat of a surprise in the Eastern Conference in 2019-20.

Let’s dive into more detail.

1. Can Keean Washkurak Take Charge of the Steelheads?

A second round choice of the Steelheads in the 2017 OHL Draft, Keean Washkurak has become a staple within Mississauga’s lineup over the past two OHL seasons. Known for his blistering speed and unrelenting work ethic, Washkurak is the definition of a team player who will do whatever it takes to ensure success for his team on a nightly basis. Whether it is dropping the gloves to stand up for a teammate or scoring a timely goal to seal a win, Washkurak is more than capable.

Keean Washkurak of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Washkurak’s hard-working nature and raw ability could land him the captaincy in the years ahead. (Photo Credit: Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

It is this broad skill set and wide range of capabilities which led directly to Washkurak’s selection in the 2019 NHL Draft. Nabbed by the St. Louis Blues in the fifth-round of the event, Washkurak’s speed, adaptability, and hard-working nature proved far too valuable for the reigning Stanley Cup champions to pass upon. Now, as Washkurak prepares to skate in his third OHL campaign for the Steelheads, Head Coach James Richmond will be looking for the youngster to take the next step as an offensive player as well as as a leader. With premium ice time up for grabs in Mississauga, Washkurak has earned the opportunity to seize the role of first line centre-ice man.

Now, can Washkaruk succeed in the role and overcome his opposition’s top talent on a nightly basis? Only time will tell.

2. Can Cole Schwindt the Next Step?

Although widely projected to be chosen in the later rounds of the 2019 NHL Draft, Cole Schwindt heard his name called in the third round — 81st overall — by the Florida Panthers. While this came as somewhat of a surprise to many, the Panthers were clearly smitten with the package which Schwindt brings to the ice on a nightly basis. Standing 6-foot-2 and tipping the scale at 185-pounds, Schwindt is a sturdy winger who can protect the puck with ease and drive possession for his team.

In 2019-20, Schwindt will set out to prove why he was chosen in the third-round of the 2019 NHL Draft. (Photo Credit: Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

What’s more is that in addition to his physicality, Schwindt features soft hands, a deceptive shot, and a high level of on-ice intelligence. These abilities led directly to a 31 point improvement for Schwindt in his sophomore season of play with Mississauga, a trend which proved far to valuable for the Panthers to ignore. However, Schwindt’s selection in the third round of the NHL Draft has also created an air of expectation, as the native Kitchener, Ontario will surely return to the Steelheads in 2019-20 with a great deal to prove. If able to continue his upward offensive trend while strengthening his impressive two-way play, Mississauga could very well feature one of the OHL’s most well-rounded players.

3. Will James Hardie Evolve into an Elite Goal Scorer?

James Hardie has long been regarded as a goal-scoring machine, as the youngster scored 40 goals in his Bantam season and 41 goals in his Minor Midget campaign prior to his selection in the first round of the 2018 OHL Draft by the Steelheads. And, not surprisingly, Hardie’s ability to bulge the twine was on full display in his rookie season, as the native of Innisfil, Ontario netted 15 goals in 62 regular season contests despite being provided with sheltered playing time on his team’s fourth-line.

James Hardie of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
An increase in playing time could see Hardie light the lamp with impressive regularity. (Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.)

Which other Steelheads player scored 15 goals in his rookie season? Owen Tippett.

Now, this is not to say that Hardie and Tippett are similar players — both play different styles — however, Hardie could certainly become as potent as Tippett given his heavy shot and innate nose for the net. What’s more is that given the lack of depth present within Mississauga’s roster this upcoming season, Hardie could very well earn ample playing time in a variety of different on-ice situations — a reality which could lead to a sharp increase in his offensive productivity ahead of the 2020 NHL Draft.

4. Can Mississauga’s 2019 OHL Draft Class Contribute?

Despite not holding a second round pick in the 2019 OHL Draft, the Steelheads were still able to select a number of promising young prospects — a handful of which could play impactful roles at the OHL-level this coming campaign. The most intriguing of which is none other than Ethan Del Mastro, an intimidating young defender who was the team’s first round selection and the 12th overall choice. Of great size and a smooth skater, Del Mastro plays a quiet yet effective two-way game defined by his poise and composure while in possession of the puck.

Del Mastro, Ethan of the Toronto Marlboros. Photo by Dan Hickling OHL Images
Del Mastro has all the makings of a sturdy shut-down defender at the OHL-level — now, can he diversify his game? (Photo by Dan Hickling OHL Images)

In addition to Del Mastro are Luca Del Bel Belluz and Chas Sharpe — two third-round selections who both hold promising futures in Mississauga. Del Bel Belluz — a native of Woodbridge, Ontario — boasts tantalizing one-on-one skill and the smooth hands necessary to dangle defenders and create highlight-reel offensive opportunities. Sharpe — a towering young defender — plays the game with a sense of purpose and has the ability to contribute offence from the blue line when the situation demands. If able to receive somewhat consistent contributions from the likes of Del Mastro, Del Bel Belluz, and Sharpe, Mississauga’s roster could be much deeper than initially thought.

5. Will Joe Ranger Battle for the Starting Role in Goal?

When the Steelheads traded Jacob Ingham to the Kitchener Rangers this offseason, it opened up a significant void in the team’s crease. As a result, General Manager Richmond nabbed Kai Edmonds from the Barrie Colts — a towering goaltender who had battled for playing time in Barrie over his last two seasons in the OHL. Born in 2000 and with over 50 OHL games played under his belt, Edmonds will surely be handed the reigns to begin the 2019-20 campaign.

Joe Ranger of the Mississauga Steelheads Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
Joe Ranger could develop into a dependable goaltender for the Steelheads if able to attain consistency. (Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images)

However, Edmonds’ status as the starting goaltender is far from set in stone, as the Steelheads boast other young netminders ready to battle for playing time like Ingham did upon his arrival. One of which is Joe Ranger, a fourth-round choice of the Steelheads in the 2018 OHL Draft who played surprisingly well in his 15 appearances with the team last season. A natural athlete whose passion for the game is unmatched, Ranger could very well push Edmonds for the starting role if able to attain consistency early in his sophomore campaign — he, and Justin Dilauro, stand as the future of the team’s crease.


2019 NHL Draft: Canada’s Top Early Performers

Although it’s only November, it’s time to check in on the best Canadian prospects eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft. In this article, we analyze three players who have impressed this season from each CHL league and check in on the Canadian Jr. A circuit.

Canada has proven time and time again to be a developmental powerhouse in the hockey world.

Consistently pumping out a number of the NHL’s youngest elite players, Canada and the many leagues within it serve as a significant gateway for future stars regardless of their country of origin. And, in 2018-19, exactly such is once again the case — the three leagues which comprise the Canadian Hockey League are saturated with highly skilled talent while the Junior A circuit features a handful of dynamic players as well.

Now, although the 2018-19 season remains young, a slew of players have already begun to separate themselves from their competition. Through consistent and lethal play, these particular prospects — which you will meet below– have enjoyed sensational starts to their first campaigns of NHL Draft eligibility.

Western Hockey League

The Top-3 Early Performers:

  • Kirby Dach (Saskatoon Blades)

Standing 6-foot-4 and 200-pounds, Kirby Dach is an intimidating force who features an explosive offensive skill set. A tremendous passer with exceptional vision, Dach also boasts an improving shot and innate instincts — a combination which makes him a presence each and every shift.

To begin the 2018-19 campaign, Dach wasted little time applying his versatile skill set. In his first 22 games played with the Saskatoon Blades, Dach had recorded 12 goals and added 23 assists for an impressive total of 35 points — the most of any WHL draft eligible forward.

  • Peyton Krebs (Kootenay ICE)

Although his standing within various NHL Draft rankings has fluctuated, Peyton Krebs remains as a constant attacking force for the Kootenay ICE. Standing slightly less than 6-feet tall, Krebs is a workhorse for the ICE and a tireless puck hound. Agile and creative, Krebs can weave through opposing defences and carve his way to the goal while in possession of the puck.

Despite a slightly slow start, Krebs has ramped up his offensive game. Mid-way through the month of November, Krebs had earned himself 27 points alongside six goals. Although his plus/minus rating of -17 left plenty to be desired, Krebs could develop into a strong attacking forward similar to Brayden Point of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

  • Bowen Byram (Vancouver Giants)

Bowen Byram could very well be the best defenceman eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft. Extremely mobile and confident, Byram can be utilized in a variety of situations and is a dominant force at even-strength.

At the half way point of the month of November, Byram had already collected six goals and 15 points alongside a respectable plus/minus rating of +3. As a driving force for the Giants, Byram has consistently displayed the ability to lead his team at both ends of the ice while logging major minutes in the process.

Honourable Mention:

  • Brett Leason (Prince Albert Raiders)

Although he is a 1999-born prospect, Brett Leason could be one of the most promising yet overlooked players available for the 2019 NHL Draft. With two average seasons of WHL play in-hand, Leason has exploded out of the gate to begin his 2018-19 season with 18 goals and 42 points in just 20 games played.

With great size given his 6-foot-4 frame and 205-pound weight, Leason could prove to be a hidden gem if drafted by an NHL franchise this coming June. Although he’ll surely need to develop within the professional ranks before being afforded a shot at the NHL-level, the native of Calgary, Alberta clearly boasts the skill-set of a legitimate NHL prospect.

Ontario Hockey League

The Top-3 Early Performers:

  • Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs)

Not only is Arthur Kaliyev a smooth skating forward with a wicked shot, but he is also one of the most lethal offensive players in the OHL this season. As a natural goal-scorer, Kaliyev can beat goaltenders in a variety of ways but relies primarily on his heavy and devastating shot to do damage.

Kaliyev is a devastating offensive force who plays with remarkable consistency. (Photo Credit: Bandon Taylor)

With 17 goals and 32 points through his first 21 games played this season, Kaliyev has quickly established himself as a premier offensive player eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft. Rocketing his way up respective draft rankings and showing no signs of slowing down, Kaliyev could be a hidden gem within this year’s class.

  • Ryan Suzuki (Barrie Colts)

As the first overall choice in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection, it should come as no surprise to see Ryan Suzuki as a top performer early on this season. A dynamic playmaker who boasts terrific vision, Suzuki is a consistent threat who makes those around him better on a nightly basis.

Through his first 19 games played with the Colts this season, Suzuki had already accumulated 29 points — eight of which goals. If able to consistently dominate his opposition this season while further strengthening his defensive play, Suzuki could be chosen inside of the top-10 come the 2019 NHL Draft.

  • Thomas Harley (Mississauga Steelheads)

Although he began the 2018-19 OHL season as a relative unknown, Thomas Harley is quickly making a name for himself. A smooth and polished skater with oodles of confidence, Harley is becoming one of the OHL’s best puck-moving defenders despite his young age of just 17-years.

Harley is a smooth-skating defender of significant size who loves to contribute offensively. (Photo Credit: Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

Having recorded 18 points through his first 21 games this season, Harley is proving that he can play a responsible two-way game against his opponent’s top attacking lines. Although his defensive game remains a work in progress, there is simply far too much to like with regards to Harley’s game to go unmentioned.

Honourable Mention:

  • Matthew Struthers (North Bay Battalion)

Although he was first eligible to be chosen in the 2018 NHL Draft, Matthew Struthers’ lethal play this season could lead to his selection in the 2019 NHL Draft. Of solid size given his 6-foot-2, 210-pound frame, Struthers is an intimidating force who has come to play a significant offensive role for the North Bay Battalion.

Having potted 12 goals and 27 points across his first 18 games played this season, Struthers has been remarkably consistent and endlessly potent. Playing alongside an incredibly dangerous teammate in Justin Brazeau, Struthers has become an offensive catalyst for the Battalion yet one capable of being utilized in a variety of situations. If able to maintain his current level of play, Struthers could very well be chosen in the upcoming NHL Draft.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

The Top-3 Early Performers:

  • Nathan Legare (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)

Nathan Legare nearly topped his entire offensive output from his rookie season in October alone to begin the 2018-19 season. Blasting home 16 goals and 35 points in his first 23 games played this campaign, Legare has quickly cemented himself as a prospect to watch within the QMJHL this year.

Although long overlooked due to the presences of Jakob Pelletier and Raphael Lavoie, Legare has shed the shadow cast by his competition through competitive and consistent offensive play. A speedy and purposeful skater, Legare demands puck possession and has proven his ability to create lethal scoring chances in the blink of an eye.

  • Jakob Pelletier (Moncton Wildcats)

As the third-overall selection in the 2017 QMJHL Entry Draft, Jakob Pelletier has long been a prospect of immense potential. Fortunately for Pelletier, he is quickly living up to the expectations placed upon him — the Quebec City, Quebec native netted 11 goals and 30 points in his first 20 games played this season.

Incredibly quick, agile, and decisive, Pelletier is a tireless force who loves to attain both personal and team success. Not one to take a night off, Pelletier has come to drive Moncton’s offensive game and is now relied upon by his coaches and teammates to do exactly such. Although somewhat undersized, the punch which Pelletier packs in unquestionable.

  • Raphael Lavoie (Halifax Mooseheads)

In addition to Dach, Raphael Lavoie could be one of the 2019 NHL Draft class’ best power forwards. Standing 6-foot-4 and 200-pounds, Lavoie is an intimidating threat who also plays a consistent offensive game. In fact, Lavoie recorded 12 goals and 22 points through his first 20 games played this season.

What separates Lavoie from most power forwards, however, is his long yet smooth and efficient stride. Despite his lanky frame, Lavoie is a fantastic skater with breakaway speed and the agility necessary to operate deep within the offensive zone. As a late 2000 birth date, Lavoie is one of the oldest yet most NHL ready players eligible for the upcoming NHL Draft.

Canadian Jr. A

The Top-3 Early Performers:

  • Alex Newhook (Victoria Grizzlies)

Long the primary player to watch within the Canadian Jr. A circuit this season, Alex Newhook has wasted little time in establishing himself as a top NHL prospect early on this season. Skating in his second campaign with the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL, Newhook has already netted 12 goals and a whopping 36 points in his first 24 games played.

Committed to Boston College for the 2019-20 season, Newhook is an explosive and extremely dynamic forward capable of driving his team’s offensive game. As a fluid skater of ample speed and agility, Newhook is endlessly crafty and is most lethal when the puck is on his stick.

  • Harrison Blaisdell (Chilliwack Chiefs)

A second year player with the Chilliwack Chiefs of the BCHL, Harrison Blaisdell is quietly piecing together a strong sophomore season. Committed to the University of North Dakota for the 2020-21 campaign, Blaisdell has been a model of consistency thus far in 2018-19 — recording 15 goals and 27 points across his first 25 games played.

Although of a slightly smaller stature, Blaisdell has become a lethal offensive force for the Chiefs. As a versatile offensive player, Blaisdell can move the puck to his teammates with relative ease or uncork a crisp and accurate shot on goal.

  • Eric Ciccolini (Toronto Jr. Canadiens)

The Toronto Jr. Canadiens are off to a hot start to begin their 2018-19 OJHL season, however, said success would not have been possible without the play of Eric Ciccolini. Headed to Colgate University for the 2020-21 season, Ciccolini has quickly become a devastating attacker for his team.

Having collected 14 goals and 36 points through his team’s first 24 games, Ciccolini led the Jr. Canadiens with absolute authority. As a solid skater with exceptional puck-handling abilities, Ciccolini is a creative skater who can generate quality scoring opportunities off of the rush or via the cycle game.

2019 NHL Draft: 5 Overlooked OHL Prospects

The 2019 NHL Draft features one of the strongest prospect classes in recent history. As a direct result, a great number of young players have been wrongly overlooked and undervalued.

The 2019 NHL Draft will boast one of the strongest prospect classes in recent history — a reality which has overshadowed a number of incredibly promising young players.

In particular, there are a number of prospects playing within the Ontario Hockey League this season whose play has been wrongly overlooked for far too long. Whether it be a lack of stature, inconsistent production, or simply a misinterpretation of an individual’s skill-set, the OHL features an arsenal of talented prospects eager to make an impact at the NHL-level.

If undervalued throughout the course of the 2018-19 season and in the days leading up to the 2019 NHL Draft, these five prospects listed below could come to be known as major draft-day steals in the years to come.

Billy Constantinou

2018-19 Team: Niagara IceDogs

OHL Draft Selection: 2017 (Round 2, 36th Overall)

The Niagara IceDogs are an impressive team within the OHL this season, and are led by an impressive 2019 NHL Draft eligible defenceman in Billy Constantinou. A smooth skating, puck-moving defender, Constantinou plays a stellar two-way game and can be counted upon to influence the outcome of any given game at both ends of the ice.

Billy Constantinou of the Niagara IceDogs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Constantinou’s versatile yet lethal game is driving his value as a 2019 NHL Draft prospect. (Photo Credit: Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

A second-round choice of the IceDogs in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection, Constantinou is quickly establishing himself as a quality NHL prospect this season. Scoring 13 points in his first 18 games played alongside a solid +9 plus/minus rating was an excellent start for Constantinou, who has been projected to be selected in the second-round of the 2019 NHL Draft.

Having already surpassed his previous career-high in points, Constantinou could rise into the first round of the NHL Draft if able to put forth a consistent effort this campaign.

Cole Mackay

2018-19 Team: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

OHL Draft Selection: 2017 (Round 5, 98th Overall)

The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds nabbed Cole Mackay with the 98th overall choice in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection, and it is safe to say that he has already surpassed any and all expectations placed upon him. Following an average rookie campaign with the Greyhounds in which he scored five goals and 14 points, Mackay has exploded out of the gate to begin his 2018-19 campaign.

Cole MacKay of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
Mackay has quietly become a driving force within the Greyhounds’ offence this season. (Photo Credit: Luke Durda/OHL Images)

With six goals scored and 20 total points in his opening 20 games, the former fifth-round choice is quickly cementing his status as a prospect to watch ahead of the 2019 NHL Draft. However, Mackay has been widely projected as a potential mid-round selection — a difficult reality to comprehend given his consistent lethality thus far this season.

Cole Schwindt

2018-19 Team: Mississauga Steelheads

OHL Draft Selection: 2017 (Round 4, 69th Overall)

While he isn’t the most lethal offensive player in the OHL this season, Cole Schwindt is quickly becoming one of its most consistent two-way forwards.

Although capable of contributing offensively, Schwindt’s value lays in his ability to defend within his own zone and shut down his opposition’s top attackers. Boasting a solid frame given his 6-foot-3 stature and 180-pound weight, Schwindt can physically dominate his opposition in his defensive zone before dislodging the puck owing to his active and accurate stick.

While his offensive game continues to grow, Schwindt’s defensive play can not be overstated. (Photo Credit: Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

Somewhat similar to former Oshawa Generals star Anthony Cirelli given his sound 200-foot game, Schwindt could prove to be a steal if selected late in the upcoming 2019 NHL Draft. Having scored four goals and nine assists in his first 19 games played with the Mississauga Steelheads this season, Schwindt’s already impressive two-way play alongside his growing lethality could afford the native of Kitchener, Ontario a long and prosperous professional hockey career.

Nathan Staios

2018-19 Team: Windsor Spitfires

OHL Draft Selection: 2017 (Round 1, 17th Overall)

Nathan Staios was selected by the Windsor Spitfires in the first round of the 2017 OHL Priority Selection, yet he has flown largely under the radar to begin his first campaign of NHL Draft eligibility. A fiercely competitive defender, Staios plays a stellar two-way game defined by his pace as well as confidence with the puck. With the poise of a seasoned veteran, Staios sees the ice incredibly well and can navigate within it with relative ease.

Staios is a diminutive defender who boasts a whack of skill and potential. (Photo Credit: OHL Images)

Despite this glowing skill-set, Staios has been widely projected as a second-to-third round choice ahead of the 2019 NHL Draft.

While slightly undersized given his 5-foot-9 frame, Staios has the composure of a highly touted prospect and the raw talent to match. Although his start to the 2018-19 OHL season was somewhat slow offensively considering he scored just one goal in 19 games, Staios had already added seven assists — a rate of production much greater than that of his rookie season.

Keean Washkurak

2018-19 Team: Mississauga Steelheads

OHL Draft Selection: 2017 (Round 2, 30th Overall)

The departures of both Mike McLeod and Nic Hague this past offseason staggered the Steelheads, who saw two of their top offensive players ascend to the professional-level. Fortunately, Keean Washkurak — Mississauga’s second round choice from the 2017 OHL Priority Selection — has quickly made the most of the opportunities presented to him this campaign.

Keean Washkurak of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Washkurak’s speed and tenacity combine to make him a persistent two-way force. (Photo Credit: Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

With major minutes available, Washkurak has earned his place within the Steelheads’ top-six through consistent and lethal offensive play this season. Standing 5-foot-10 and 185-pounds, Washkurak’s electrifying style of play has been evident on a nightly basis — the native of Waterloo, Ontario has quickly become a two-way stalwart for the Steelheads.

Having recorded five goals and 17 points in his first 19 games played this season, Washkurak could sneak into the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft if able to maintain and improve upon his current level of play.

OHL Prospect Profile: Ethan Del Mastro

Ethan Del Mastro is a reliable and effective defender, showcasing tremendous strength and sense in the defensive zone. He displays intriguing offensive potential, but forecasts as more of a stay-at-home defender at the next level. Del Mastro projects as a mid-to-late second round pick for the 2019 OHL Draft.

– Ethan Del Mastro –

Toronto Marlboros (GTHL) | Left Defence | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible

Toronto, Ontario | 6-foot-1, 181-pounds | January 15th, 2003

Ethan Del Mastro is a big, strong defenceman who excels at defending his own zone. Another along a massive blue line for the Toronto Marlboros, Del Mastro has shown smooth skating abilities and a knack for carrying the puck into the offensive zone.

Related: Check out Prospect Pipeline’s 2019 OHL Draft Rankings.

He displays excellent instincts and is as reliable as they come to defend the house. A big body and a strong processor of the game, Del Mastro consistently throws effective checks to separate the body from the puck. He is one of the most dependable defensemen in the ’03 OHL Draft class.


  • Skating & Agility
  • Positional Sense
  • Power & Strength

A smooth skating pivot, Del Mastro maintains excellent gap control against opposing zone entries. He consistently forces opponents into the walls and corners, if not eliminating them with a booming check. Del Mastro displays tremendous sense of the ice by being positionally sound in all three zones, most notably below the dots in the d-zone.

With a powerful lower-body, Del Mastro is extremely strong on his feet and isn’t afraid to meet an opponent at the blue line or in the neutral zone with a clean, devastating hit. Plain and simple, he is not a fun defenceman to go up against. Del Mastro also shows intriguing offensive upside through smart shot selection and good puck distribution from the blue line. He also has a very dangerous slap shot when he is able to get it on net.

Area of Improvement:

  • Top Speed
  • Shot Accuracy

Del Mastro has the defensive aspects of his game down flat. The only points of improvement would come in developing a more potent two-way game in order to become a true can’t-miss prospect. For starters, he could improve his top speed on the rush. As mentioned, Del Mastro doesn’t shy away from lugging the puck through the neutral zone, where some extra speed could make him a true offensive threat.

Related: Don’t miss any of Prospect Pipeline’s 2019 OHL Draft Profiles.

Along the blue line, Del Mastro can organize and lead the Marlies’ forecheck. He has a powerful shot, but could make a greater impact by finding a way to get the puck on net with greater frequency. These few improvements could help Del Mastro to challenge amongst the top tier of 2003-born defensemen.

Future Potential:

Ethan Del Mastro is a reliable and effective defender for the Toronto Marlboros, showcasing tremendous strength and sense in the defensive zone. He displays intriguing offensive potential, but forecasts as more of a stay-at-home defender at the next level. Del Mastro can shut down opposing first lines and limit scoring chances against wit consistency.

Showing an efficient game that should transition well into the OHL level, Del Mastro projects as a mid-to-late second round pick for the 2019 OHL Draft.