Weight: 175 pounds
Date of birth: July 18, 2001
Hometown: London, Ontario
OHL Draft: Round 7, 124th overall, 2017 Priority Selection
NHL Central Scouting Rankings: Pre-season, November: NR. Mid-term: 173rd NA Skaters
For London Ontario native and Saginaw Spirits’ defender Mason Millman, not being listed on National Hockey League Central Scouting’s Players to Watch List in both the pre-season and November’s lists came as a surprise. But that was corrected on their mid-term list as he was ranked 173rd among North American skaters. Millman climbed 48 spots on Central’s Final Rankings to 125th among North American skaters. That puts him in position as a late 6th early 7th round pick at the NHL Draft in June.
Millman played his Minor Midget AAA hockey with the London Jr Knights during the 2016-2017 season, compiling 5 goals and 14 assists in 33 games. He would add a goal and 8 helpers in 11 playoff matchups, and a goal and 2 assists at 6 OHL Cup games.
Millman would play the 2017-2018 season with the St Thomas Stars of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League and score 6 goals and 16 assists on 46 games. He was voted the GOJHL Most Outstanding First Year Defenceman and (Western) and to the GOJHL Rookie All-Star Team (Western). Millman would get his feet wet in the OHL playing in 6 games for the Spirit but did not register a point.
This season, Millman would play in 66 games for Saginaw and score 3 goals while adding 22 assists and finish with a plus-22. He would add 2 goals and 3 assists in 13 playoff games and finish with a plus-12 as the Spirit lost in 7 games in the Western Conference Finals.
Millman is a puck move defenceman with very good skating abilities and excellent lateral movement. In the offensive zone he makes quick, decisive decisions with a knack for pinching at the right time to keep plays alive. He sees the ice extremely well and can deliver tape-to-tape passes. He can quarterback the powerplay and shows great abilities there walking the line and playing patiently waiting for lanes to open. However, his shot from the point is weak and doesn’t always get it through. It needs some work and some of that may come as he adds some strength. His low shots on goal total (86) may speak to a lack of confidence in his shot as well. Millman finished seventh among draft eligible players in scoring.
Despite some impressive plus/minus stats in the regular season and playoffs – he was 4th among draft eligible players in the regular season, Millman’s defensive game is a work in progress, but, as basically an OHL Rookie, he did fine.
Millman’s ability to use his hockey smarts defensively is a big help. He understands his first responsibility as a defender is to look after his own zone, and he usually finds himself in the right position to defend. His skating, especially his lateral movement allows him to angle off opponents extremely well. He keeps his gaps close and has a decent reach, but would like to see a more active stick. I would also like to see him take the body more. He has the size, but the frame isn’t quite there yet.
Millman can move the puck out of the d-zone and into transition. He can skate it out of the zone but you are more likely to see him move the puck with stellar passing abilities. He picks his spots on when to jump into the play but has shown to be effective in transition.