From Gold Medal to AHL All-Star: Ethan Del Mastro Could Be a Big Part of the Blackhawks' Rebuild

Chicago Blackhawks Prospect Profile: Ethan Del Mastro

St Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks
St Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
1 of 3

In recent years, the Chicago Blackhawks have added a plethora of big left-handed defensemen to their prospect pool. This was largely orchestrated by the previous regime under Stan Bowman, who selected twelve defensemen during his last four drafts with the Blackhawks (2018-2021). The abundance of defensemen in Chicago's pipeline has lead to General Manager Kyle Davidson putting more focus on drafting forwards, with only three blue-liners selected over his two drafts (Kevin Korchinski, Sam Rinzel, Janne Peltonen). Ethan Del Mastro is one prospect who has been a very high riser in the Blackhawks' system throughout his final junior seasons (OHL) and especially during his debut season with the Rockford IceHogs (AHL).

Del Mastro was selected in the fourth round of the 2021 NHL Draft (105th overall) by the Blackhawks. Like many recent prospects, Del Mastro's draft eligible season saw him not play a single game in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His skating, defensive abilities and size made him an intriguing prospect already from the previous season. It can be argued that Del Mastro's stock would have been much higher had he been able to play during the 2020-21 season.

Nonetheless, the Blackhawks took a chance on the Del Mastro being a potential shutdown defender for the club in the future. His 6'4 205lbs frame added even more size to the Blackhawks system which had already included Alex Vlasic, Nolan Allan and Taige Harding. However, Ethan Del Mastro quickly began to shed his "defensive defenseman" label once he took the ice again in the 2021-22 season. In his final two OHL seasons, Del Mastro tallied 107 points in 120 games, leading to appearances on back to back gold medal winning Team Canada rosters at the World Junior Championships.