Mascherin quickly finding groove

Andrew Schopp2016 Draft Center

A premier scorer from the minor-midget Greater Toronto Hockey League, Adam Mascherin is quickly finding his groove in his second season in the OHL.

Early into his sophomore major-junior season, the Maple, ON. product has seven goals and 13 points in nine games this year with the Kitchener Rangers. Mascherin’s offensive prowess should come as no surprise to the Rangers, who knew just what they were getting when they plucked the 17-year-old center second overall at the 2014 OHL Priority selection.

As a budding 15-year-old with the Vaughn Minor Midget Kings, Mascherin capped off the 2013-2014 campaign with an alarming 67 goals and 129 points in 61 league and tournament games.

The 5-foot-10, 202-pound forward had a blast doing it.

“That was obviously a lot of fun to score goals every game,” Mascherin said of his torrid midget season, which led the Kings to a berth at the 2014 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament in Toronto. “When you are that young you know who the other team’s focusing on and it was like a competition for me to out-work them. I know that they are going to try and stop me, but I’m not going to let them.

“It was that competitive mindset that I went into every game with, that I have to work hard and even though I am one of the better players around, I have to show what I can do every night.”

Mascherin’s Ontario Hockey League debut with the Rangers was solid as he scored 12 goals and 17 assists last season.

He’s now off to a blistering start to the 2015-16 campaign following a busy off-season, which included a visit to Hockey Canada’s National Team Summer Showcase in Calgary and training with Daniel Tkaczuk, the former first round pick of the Calgary Flames in 1997.

Tkaczuk played professionally in the NHL and AHL before taking his talents overseas, playing in the Finnish SM-Liiga, German DEL and the highest level of hockey in Italy.

“He’s been hard on me but helping out with my skills and conditioning,” Mascherin said of the professional hockey journeyman’s extensive training regimen. “I trained at a new gym this summer with some higher-level competition, so that’s pretty much what’s getting me ready for my draft year.”

According to Future Considerations’ OHL scout Daniel Deschenes, what Mascherin lacks in size, he more than makes up for with his unmatched drive and work ethic. Deschenes added that Macherin’s nose for the net comes from strong skating, speed and vision, too.

“He sees the ice very well and picks apart lanes with seamless passes,” Deschenes said after getting a couple good looks at the fleet-footed forward this season. “Has a low center of gravity, is strong on his feet and can change speeds rather well. Does a good job of quickly adjusting his speed to meet his needs on the attack, an asset as he gains the offensive zone and prepares to centre it or pull of a patented slick deke around a defender.

“He isn’t afraid to get dirty in the corners and will not shy away from laying the body when needed. Possesses a quick release and can pick his spots well, while also showing a creative side with the puck in the offensive zone.”

In Calgary, Mascherin was hoping to crack Canada’s U18 squad, which represented the country at the prestigious Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament in the Czech Republic last summer.

Although he fell short of the goal, he looked ahead to his sophomore OHL season with a positive outlook.

He hopes to establish himself as one of the league’s elite scorers and believes he’s well on his way.

“My expectation is to be better than I was last year,” Mascherin said. “If you are getting better every year then you are headed in the right direction. You want to improve rather than regress.”