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Prospect Spotlight: Mastrosimone gains NCAA experience during NHL pursuit

Red Wings 2019 draftee hopes to join lineage of Boston University stars making NHL waves

by Josh Berenter @DetroitRedWings /

DETROIT -- With elite alumni like Jack Eichel, Brady Tkachuk and Jake Oettinger, Boston University has recently produced some of the best young players in the NHL, and Detroit Red Wings prospect Robert Mastrosimone is hoping to add to that list as he attempts to make his NHL dreams come true.

The Red Wings selected Mastrosimone in the second round, 54th overall, of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft after the forward enjoyed an incredible 2018-19 season for the USHL's Chicago Steel, earning 60 points in 54 games.

Mastrosimone also had some experience in Michigan, playing four games for the U.S. National Team Development Program's U-18 club in Plymouth, and Detroit drafted the forward because of his non-stop motor, lethal shot and his creativity all over the ice.

"He's really a skilled, competitive kid with great hands and great hockey sense," Red Wings executive vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman said in August 2019 after Mastrosimone was drafted. "He needs to fill out, but his skill level and hands are exciting."

After becoming the Steel's all-time leading goal scorer, Mastrosimone went onto play college hockey for Boston University, earning 17 points on seven goals and 10 assists in 34 games in 2019-20.

Mastrosimone was one of seven Terriers to skate in all 34 games in 2019-20, and he played in 15 of Boston's 16 games in the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 campaign, compiling five goals and three assists to help lead his team to the NCAA Tournament.

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The forward knows the kind of players that Yzerman is looking for as Detroit continues its rebuild. He said he's working to be a better two-way player who can thrive in all situations.

"I'm a high-skilled forward with a very hard work ethic. I can score and play defense," Mastrosimone said. "I'll play 200 feet and block a shot in the defensive zone if that's what's needed. My favorite player growing up was John Tavares, and I try to play like that. I'm going to work extremely hard at anything I'm asked to do. That's what I'm about."

At 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, Mastrosimone has established a reputation for his competitiveness and hopes to break into the NHL alongside several other smaller forwards making a huge impact.

"If you look around today's NHL, you will see guys who are succeeding without great size," former Red Wings director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright said after the 2019 Draft, pointing out players like 5-foot-7, 165-pound Alex DeBrincat and 5-foot-9, 150-pound Johnny Gaudreau. "He needs to get stronger and faster, which is why he's going to college to develop that part of his game. What impresses us is his work ethic and compete level are off the charts."

The 20-year-old, who's gained 12 pounds of muscle since being drafted 23 months ago, is expected to return to Boston University for his junior season in 2021-22.

The Red Wings will keep a keen eye on Mastrosimone during his third year at the NCAA level and are excited for his chances of donning the Winged Wheel in the future.

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