The Blackhawks selected Ethan Del Mastro with the 105th pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, after one full season, and a covid season with the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL. The 6’4 Canadian D man was named captain of the Steelheads for the 2021-22 season, and led by example with 48 points through 68 games played. This was a massive step as in his only full season played, he only had 7 points through 57 games.
“When not leading the rush, he’s activating into it. Physical” - EPRinkside.com
Del Mastro has often been praised for his physicality and his hockey IQ, which are both very evident in each and every play he makes. He knows when to step out and make a hit so he doesn’t fully fall out of the play, and is able to read the ice really well. His height is a huge advantage, and weighing in around 210 pounds is impressive for the 03 born.
Del Mastro has yet to sign his entry level deal with the Blackhawks, but it’s fair to assume he has earned that privilege after this season. The Blackhawks do lack depth on the back end, so it wouldn’t surprise me if after next season, Del Mastro was a core part of the bottom 4 in Chicago.
Del Mastro can be described as a two-way defenseman. A guy that can play up in the opposing teams end while being one of the smartest guys on the ice and having the willingness to lay down in front of pucks, take risks when he can afford them, and has the best IQ on his team is someone the Blackhawks, or any team for that matter could utilize.
I can compare Del Mastro to Josh Manson or Ben Chiarot. All of their games are very fun to watch, as they all have the ability to be a 4th forward if need be, as well as playing the defensive position to a tee. If the Blackhawks can lock Del Mastro up and let him start battling for an NHL position, the possibilities are endless, I really like this kid.