Ducks Get Much Needed Physical, Scoring Center in McTavish

Heading into the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, the Anaheim Ducks had their hands in the Jack Eichel sweepstakes. However, come the draft, the Ducks decided to go in another direction, and they used the third overall pick to draft Mason McTavish. He has the size and strength to be a dominant goalscoring power forward in Anaheim.

Type of Player

McTavish is joining the Anaheim offense as a 6-foot-2 center. He comes into the team weighing 207 pounds, which immediately makes him one of the bigger players on the roster. This will benefit the Ducks as they are in desperate need of a player who can score at this size and position. 

Related: THW’s 2021 NHL Draft Guide

As for his style of play, McTavish is a goalscorer. During his rookie season with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League in 2019-20, he recorded 29 goals in 57 games played. To put up these numbers at 16 years old in one of the most competitive junior hockey leagues is eye-opening. In addition to this, he also played in the second division Swiss League for EHC Olten, where he scored 9 goals in 13 games. This also proves that he can play at a high level against older competition. Anaheim addressed its goalscoring needs with this pick and he should be able to produce as soon as he is inserted into the Ducks lineup.

Mason McTavish Peterborough Petes
Mason McTavish of the Peterborough Petes entering the zone with the puck (Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

McTavish is also a leader. In 2020-21, he was selected to the Canadian U18 National Team at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup as an alternate captain. In the tournament, he helped lead the Canadians to their fourth gold medal. For the tournament, he produced 13 points (7 goals, 6 assists) and used his play to lead by example.

Lastly, McTavish is a physical player. He is no stranger to the penalty box. During his rookie seasons in Peterborough, he recorded 31 penalty minutes. Bringing in physical players is nothing new to Anaheim, as the team used to have an identity surrounding this aggressive trait.

Comparisons to Current Ducks

As of this writing, the most comparable player to McTavish on the Ducks’ roster would be Max Comtois. Both of these players have an elite scoring ability and can score from all areas of the ice. Not only can both of these players fire shots past a goaltender at distance, but they both can also attack the net and score grittier types of goals.

Max Comtois Anaheim Ducks
Max Comtois has slowly seen himself become one of the top players in Anaheim (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

McTavish’s skating ability as a power forward can also result in comparisons to Max Jones. Throughout his time with Anaheim, Jones has been known to use his skilled skating ability to create chances and produce offense. Despite being “bigger” players, both McTavish and Jones can use this to be deceptive and create space on both ends of the ice.

The last player on the Ducks that McTavish is comparable to is Ryan Getzlaf. Both the young draft pick and the veteran captain have great two-way capabilities while playing down the middle. This ability to play well on both sides of the ice allows for offensive chances to start in the defensive zone. However, the one difference between these two players is their willingness to shoot. As it appears right now, McTavish is much more trigger-happy than Getzlaf, but this is something that the Ducks are prioritizing as a team at the moment.

Ryan Getzlaf Ducks
Ryan Getzlaf has been dominant for the Anaheim Ducks since he debuted (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Overall, Anaheim should be happy with their selection with the third pick. Prior to the draft, McTavish was ranked second among North American skaters and it appears that he is the right fit for a Ducks team that is desperate for offense. He can play along the wing or at center, which allows Anaheim more flexibility when creating lineups in the future.