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Point-producing Mascherin gives Stars high value as fourth-rounder

'Ready to turn pro,' the forward scored 110 goals his last three seasons in major junior hockey

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Adam Mascherin was watching this year's NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on TV, but he missed out on hearing his name called and for a short time was in the dark about which team had selected him.

"I didn't even hear my name because the home crowd cheered, so I didn't hear who picked me on the TV," Mascherin said. "My agent called me and said, 'You are going to a great spot.' I said, 'What spot?" Then he said it was Dallas and I said, 'Oh, that makes sense.' I was really excited. It was funny."

 

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The Stars selected Mascherin, a goal scoring left wing from Kitchener of the Ontario Hockey League, in the fourth round (100th overall). The 20-year-old is no stranger to the NHL Draft. He went through it in 2016 and was selected in the second round (38th overall) by the Florida Panthers. But after two years in the Florida system, he passed on signing an entry-level deal by the June 1, 2018 deadline and re-entered this year's draft.

Mascherin declined to discuss his reasoning behind his decision, but Panthers general manager Dale Tallon went on the record with his side of the story.

"He didn't want to play for the Panthers, that's what happened," Tallon told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "We offered him a very favorable contract and he refused it. Didn't want to be a Panther. That's basically as honest as I can be."

Mascherin said he knew that his decision to not sign with the Panthers could raise some questions among the other NHL teams, but Stars director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell did a lot of background digging on Mascherin and saw no issues.

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"I happen to be from the city where he plays. I have a few connections there," McDonnell said. "There were no red flags."

So, with a fourth-round pick in 2018, the Stars get a guy who was a second-round pick in 2016 and has scored 110 goals in the last three seasons in major junior hockey and is ready to turn pro, most likely heading to the Texas Stars of the AHL next season. That's a good value pick.

"This is his third, fourth year of junior. We all knew about him. He's been drafted. We knew about the situation," said Stars GM Jim Nill. "He's a good player and the nice thing is we can turn him pro right away, put him in Austin and go from there."

Mascherin, who is listed at 5-10, 206 pounds, has produced consistently for Kitchener in the OHL the past three seasons. The left-handed shooting winger tallied 81 points (35 goals, 46 assists) in 65 games in 2015-16, 100 points (35 goals, 65 assists) in 65 games in 2016-17, and 86 points (40 goals, 46 assists) in 67 games this past season.

"He's got a great shot, great hockey instincts," said Rich Peverley, Stars player development coordinator. "From the conversations I've had with him, he seems very focused and determined."

Mascherin's shot was considered pro quality back in 2016 when he first went through the draft. International Scouting Services ranked his shot second only to Patrik Laine that year. His shot is something Mascherin takes pride in and has worked on for a long time.

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"I would shoot about 500 pucks a day growing up," Mascherin said. "That's all I did."

There was a net set up behind the garage where the young Mascherin could go through his daily routine.

"At one point my dad said he wasn't even going to bother refinishing the garage until I moved out because he said there was no point."

His mother would chime in once in awhile as well.

"My mom would be watching TV, and she would come outside and say, 'Hit the net.'"

He's hit the net plenty in juniors, and now he's ready to move forward in his career. 

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"I would think I am ready to make the jump to pro," he said. "I've had 35, 35, and 40-goal seasons the last three years, so I would think I would be ready to take the next step and start focusing on some other areas of my game as a pro and maturing as a player and person."

Mascherin has already started working on some of the off-ice areas of becoming a pro, specifically preparing to live on his own. That can be a big adjustment for a player coming out of junior hockey.

"I played junior, so you have a billet family. They cook for you, do your laundry," Mascherin said. "I've got to live on my own, cook for myself and do my own laundry. I am doing grocery shopping, so it's not that big a punch in the face when you move away, a new city, new house and you don't know the roads. It takes you a little longer to do things at the start. It's all so overwhelming because it is your first year of pro."

Mascherin headed to Texas after the draft to take part in development camp in Frisco, getting to know the organization and taking part in on-ice and off-ice workouts. The Stars like what they see, and they believe Mascherin is poised to take that next step.

"He is ready to turn pro," said McDonnell.

"He's got something you can't teach, which is scoring goals."

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. Follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

Read more: 2018 NHL Draft, Dallas Stars

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