Ethan Del Mastro
2020-21 Team: Mississauga Steelheads
Date of Birth: Jan. 15, 2003
Place of Birth: Freelton, Ontario
Ht: 6-foot-4 Wt: 205 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
- Elite Prospects: 62nd
- McKeen’s Hockey: 52nd
- NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters): 57th
- FCHockey: 80th
Ethan Del Mastro has a lot more potential than his seven points in 57 OHL games would indicate. His offensive opportunities were limited as a rookie with the Mississauga Steelheads as a rookie and he wouldn’t get the opportunity to prove he could produce more during the 2020-21 season due to the OHL’s entire season being canceled as a result of COVID-19.
Anybody who’s watched Del Mastro play knows that he has a lot of very attractive traits that could help him translate into a legitimate NHL defender. He already has an NHL frame, standing 6 foot 4 and weighing 205 pounds. What’s more impressive, though, is how smooth and quick he is as a skater despite his size.
Combining his skating and size with his hockey smarts and ability to hinder his opponents with his body, an active stick and surprisingly good make-up speed that’s coupled with long strides gives Del Mastro the tools that teams’ covets in strong two-way blueliners at the NHL level. He’s also proven to be a committed player off the ice as well as his studies never seemed to falter despite his responsibilities growing as a rookie in the OHL.
On top of his ability as a defender and a puck-mover, Del Mastro also has the ability to put up more impressive offensive totals than he did in his lone OHL season.
Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide
Unlike some of his contemporaries, Del Mastro wouldn’t sign with a team overseas. Instead, he’d play in the IIHF U18 World Championship Tournament and would help Canada win the gold medal in the tournament. He’d have a breakout tournament and would put himself on the radar of many fans who may not have been aware of him otherwise. It was also an opportunity for Del Mastro to prove that he was capable of playing with and against the very best of his peers within his age group.
He has the upside of a first-round talent, but teams may look to operate more cautiously during the 2021 Draft due to the uncertainties surrounding prospects as a result of COVID-19. While the size, talent and traits are there, the risks that exist due to lack of recent scouting make it difficult to imagine Del Mastro being selected quite so early.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Ethan Del Mastro – NHL Draft Projection
Due to the lost OHL season, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where NHL scouting departments are going to have Del Mastro on their draft boards. It’s likely he’ll be taken somewhere in the second or third rounds, but nailing the exact spot is anybody’s guess. Given his upside but unfortunately small sample size of games played, he could be taken somewhere in the 55-80 range. If he was given another year to showcase his abilities, it wouldn’t be outrageous to imagine Del Mastro could have even climbed into a late first-round or early second-round selection. That would be quite the gamble for an NHL team to take given the circumstances, though.
“He uses his pocket when handling, rapid support of his partners, constant activations — you name it. With his long reach, four-way mobility and, above all, his physicality, Del Mastro could play the role of the ‘’engager’’ on an NHL pairing. He likes to work opponents 1-on-1.” – Elite Prospects
“Del Mastro is also a very reliable and menacing defender. With his NHL-like frame, he stands at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds. He’s still a very fluid skater as he has great mobility, but he’s definitely not afraid of playing the body. He has a long stride and good speed to catch up to the puck carrier and laying a big hit on his opponent. He was very active in this department at the U18 Championship. He has a long reach and active stick. He’s able to break plays up effectively and create turnovers, leading to a quick transition with his passing.” – Peter Baracchini, The Hockey Writers
- Hockey IQ
- Active stick
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Offensive production
- Shot selection
Del Mastro likely projects to be a shutdown defender at the next level, though he’s far from a stay-at-home player. Even if the offense doesn’t develop or translate to points, his mobility gives him an added element that a lot of bigger defenders lack. If his offense continues to develop, he could find himself in a second-pairing role at the NHL level; he doesn’t have to be an elite point-producer from the back-end, he just needs to prove that his offensive instincts can translate to tangible production. At the very worst, it would be hard to imagine him not at least developing into a bottom-pairing player should his upside never come to fruition.
Risk – 4/5, Reward – 4.5/5
As mentioned, Del Mastro would have a stand-out showing a the 2020-21 U18 World Junior Championships and would win the gold medal with Team Canada. As far as individual accolades go, though, Del Mastro hasn’t yet had the opportunity to really fill up his trophy case.