Maple Leafs Mason Marchment: A Long Shot Worth Rooting For

Recently, Craig Button joined the OverDrive panel to discuss the Toronto Maple Leafs’ situation. During that conversation, he mentioned that he had recently attended a Toronto Marlies game and was impressed by the play of Mason Marchment.

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Button specifically suggested that Marchment plays an edgy, in-your-face game, which is something Button believes the Maple Leafs need more of. I agree with Button. Sometimes, the Maple Leafs are too easy to play against. Grit is something the team needs more of on its roster.

Marchment Comes from Good NHL Lineage

Marchment is the son of Bryan Marchment, who is a scout with the San Jose Sharks. However, during his NHL career, Bryan played 926 NHL games with nine different NHL teams. He was a tough, hard-hitting defenseman who collected more than 2,300 penalty minutes.

Although the elder Marchment played defense, the younger is a 6-foot-4, 200-pound, left winger. What’s interesting is that, although Mason grew up around the sport, he noted that: “I didn’t really start hockey until later, once we moved to Toronto because we had been in San Jose for a while.”

Marchment believes he plays a different style from his dad. Bryan was a punishing hitter, but his son tries to put the puck on the net.

As Mason evaluates their games, “I don’t think we’re alike at all. He was a defenseman and I am a forward. I feel like I am more of a big body who likes to get in front of the net.”

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Regardless of position, the younger Marchment admits that his Dad, “has some hints for me to help my game. He basically says to have fun. If you’re not having fun, it’s not worth it.”

Marchment’s Road to the Maple Leafs

Marchment wasn’t drafted. He played for a number of different junior teams, including the Erie Otters, the Hamilton Bulldogs, and the Mississauga Steelheads. It was during the Steelheads’ 2015-16 playoff run that he caught someone’s eye in the Maple Leafs organization and was offered a try-out contract with the Toronto Marlies.

Since he’s been with the Marlies, Marchment has made surprising progress and has worked his way from being an ECHL-caliber player to becoming a valuable contributor on the Marlies’ AHL championship team.

In fact, hard work defines Marchment. He’s not what people look for in a “modern” hockey player, with the game built on speed, finesse, and a strong shot. He isn’t a small player who can whirl around the ice, nor is he someone who would fit the rough and tumble hockey style his dad played. Instead, he’s a bit of a hybrid who can check and score.

Is he someone who might fit into the middle-six of the Maple Leafs line up? The next year or so will tell.

One writer who covers the Maple Leafs (Species 1967) for the Pension Plan Puppets mentioned being at a Marlies practice and talking to Marchment after practice. He reported that Marchment was the last skater off the ice that day, and had stayed out to practice deflecting pucks into the net.

He asked Marchment what he was doing and was told, “I just like practicing that.” He’s just a kid who loves playing hockey.

One story about Marchment is that he’s already “impressed” the Maple Leafs’ leading scorer Mitch Marner. When Marchment was playing for the Otters in the OHL, he caught Marner with an elbow as Marner was driving to the net. Marchment was suspended for 10 games.

Mason Marchment Erie Otters
Mason Marchment of the Erie Otters. (Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

According to Marner, Marchment never apologized. Marchment disagreed. His story is: “I think I said sorry a couple of times now. It was a weird play. I was coming around the net looking at the puck and the puck popped out to him. He shot it and then kind of went into me a bit and I went into him. Last second, I put my arm up to protect myself and just was unlucky.”

I guess that’s an apology, of sorts. Anyway, Marchment and Marner agreed, they’re “good”.

Can Marchment Make the Maple Leafs?

It’s possible, but Marchment seems like a long shot to make the roster. He’s not a speedy skater; he doesn’t have flash and he isn’t ultra-talented. However, he has size and physical maturity; he gets under his opponent’s nerves and he’s a worker. Although his development might not be dramatic, he seems to have learned how to add value to any team he’s played with.

Given these traits and habits, I believe there’s always a team looking for a strong character and a hard-working player who can both check or add supplemental scoring. What Marchment seems to have are high personal goals and expectations. He keeps working towards becoming a better player. I’m certain the Maple Leafs’ brain trust must notice that.

What’s Next?

The Marlies are preparing to play the Charlotte Checkers in the Eastern Conference Final of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs starting May 17. Marchment, who was injured, returned in time for the playoffs. In seven playoff games, he has two goals and two assists for four points. Coach Sheldon Keefe is using him in the top six and Marchment is back to setting up shop in front of the opponent’s net, his usual spot.

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Returning to Button’s comments that I began the post with, he believes Marchment is a player people don’t seem to talk enough about. He thinks the young Marlies player understands what needs to happen at any time during the game, and believes Marchment can make an impact.

Button also believes Marchment is the kind of player the Maple Leafs need on their team to make them stronger against teams like the Boston Bruins – those tough teams that can grind you down.

Perhaps Marchment is a long shot, but I’m hoping he can make the Maple Leafs roster one day. I appreciate his work ethic. Plus, I don’t like to watch other teams push the Maple Leafs around. Maybe Marchment can help.