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Another underrated Blackhawks prospect: Ethan Del Mastro

Published August 27, 2023 at 2:13
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In recent years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been acquiring quality players and prospects.

It is worth noting that one of these prospects is Ethan Del Mastro, who played four years in the OHL with the Sarnia Sting and Mississauga Steelheads.

Nice shift by Ethan Del Mastro. I like his game. #Blackhawks




Rather than being NHL-ready as soon as possible, his play has been noted as having potential.

His OHL career started badly in 2019-2020, with only 7 points in 57 games, and he missed the entire 2020-2021 season. More than anything else, he would be seen as a risky draft pick.

Eaton described his game as being a «shutdown defenseman» at the pro level. From a ‘Hawks standpoint, you immediately think of a Niklas Hjalmarsson-type, someone whose offense isn't a mainstay but reliable, who can suffocate opponents in the defensive zone and throw some big hits.

He ended up being drafted 105th overall by the team in the 2021 NHL Draft. Scout Mark Eaton noted that Del Mastro's defensive abilities and his potential to improve his offensive game drew him to the prospect. He is 6'4", 210 pounds with the build, physicality, and skill the Blackhawks seek.

A year later, Del Mastro proved Eaton right, putting up 21 points in 22 games (two goals, nine assists) and becoming the captain of the Sarnia Sting. The Steelheads would be the beneficiaries later, where the Sting would-be sellers, as he scored 38 points in 30 games as well as 59 points in 52 total games in the OHL, helping the team reach the Western Conference finals.

Along with Isaak Philips, Del Mastro is expected to make up the top-pairing defense of the Rockford Ice Hogs this season. Eaton described Del Mastro as a shutdown-type defenseman, like Niklas Hjalmarsson, who is capable of playing offensively as well as delivering hits while also being stifling.

Should Del Mastro put his game where his mouth is, modeling it after Ben Chiarot and Ryan McDonagh, and continue to improve, it's hard to not see him compete for a spot in the NHL.

The Athletic's Corey Pronman listed Del Mastro as the team's 12th-best prospect.
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