If you had to compare Brandon Mashinter to anyone on the current Sharks roster, it would most likely be Ryane Clowe. Like Clowe, Mashinter is a hybrid hockey player; mixing both soft hands and an iron fist. In his rookie season with the Worcester Sharks, the 21-year-old set a franchise record by recording double digits in goals (22) and fighting majors (13). Last year, Clowe set a career high by netting 57 points, including 19 goals while fighting 11 times.
Mashinter is also similar to Clowe in stature. The 21-year old stands 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds; that’s one inch taller and the exact same weight as 27-year-old Clowe. Both players are successful forwards who can park themselves in front of the net or line up against the opposition’s enforcer. The end result always gets their name on the scorecard.
But in order for Mashinter to really compare himself to Clowe, there is one thing he needs to improve on: his footwork.
“I want to make the big club,” said Mashinter while attending Sharks development camp at Sharks Ice at San Jose. “I’ve got to work on a few things, first of which is my skating.”
Development camp was designed for players to concentrate on specific elements of their game and make improvements prior to Training Camp in September. And for Mashinter that means five days of focusing on his feet.
“A lot of the stuff that we’ve been working on has been really good for our personal game,” explained Mashinter. “I think the main thing for me is the skating drill.”
Mashinter was signed by San Jose as a free agent on March 3, 2009 and spent the 2009-10 season with the Worcester Sharks. It was a key pick-up for the Sharks as the native of Bradford, Ontario scored 37 points (22 goals, 15 assists) in 79 games during his first year in the AHL. That’s pretty impressive considering he spent 117 minutes in the penalty box.
“I think I had an awesome season,” said Mashinter about his rookie year in Worcester. “I accomplished most of my goals. I wanted 20 goals and 20 assists. I got my 20 goals, but fell a little short on my assists. I had 117 penalty minutes and my goal was to get over 100.”
During Clowe’s rookie season in the AHL, the native of Fermeuse, Newfoundland ranked 12th among rookie scorers (40 points) and fourth in assists (29). Among his teammates he was fifth on the team in scoring and fourth in assists, plus/minus (+15), and penalty minutes (97).
However, by his second year, Clowe was named Team MVP after leading the Cleveland Barons (the Sharks former AHL team) in goals (27), assists (35) points (62), plus/minus (+19), first goals (nine), multi-point games (16), power play goals (14) and power play points (23).
During the 2005-06 season, Clowe played 18 games in the NHL and by the next season Clowe was in the Sharks starting lineup.
So if Mashinter really wants to follow in Clowe’s footsteps, he needs to have a standout sophomore season. That is the best way to get a ticket on the Worcester shuttle.
"Hopefully when it comes times to play, I can make that jump," said Mashinter.