Weight: 205 pounds
Date of birth: July 28, 2001
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
OHL Draft: Round 2, 22nd overall, 2017 Priority Selection (Guelph Storm)
NHL Central Scouting Rankings
|C Prospect||C Prospect||142||113|
Mason Primeau certainly comes with some bloodlines. He’s the son of former NHL’er Wayne Primeau and the nephew of Keith Primeau. And his sister, Madison, played in the PWHL this season. His cousins Cayden will be playing in the American Hockey League next season while Chayse just finished his first season playing in the NCAA. To say hockey runs in the family is an understatement.
Primeau played his minor midget AAA hockey with the Toronto Nationals during the 2016-2017 season where he compiled 13 goals and 16 assists in 33 contests. The Guelph Storm selected Primeau with the 22nd overall pick at the 2017 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.
Here’s what OHL Central Scouting had to say about Primeau:
Mason comes from a very good hockey family and he looks to be following in his dad’s footsteps. He is a big two-way centre who has a very good understanding for the game. He is a good skater and has good top-end speed. Mason scored some really nice goals and shows flashes of having top-end skills. He is very reliable in all three zones and is very strong on face-offs. He competes each and every shift. Every coach is looking for a big two-way centre that is reliable and will chip in offensively.
Last season, Primeau made the Storm roster out of camp and appeared in 60 games, scoring 7 goals and assisting on 6 others.
There are two stories to tell this season. Primeau began the year with the Storm. In 20 games, he scored 3 goals and added 4 assists and the writing was virtually on the wall: There wasn’t going to be much ice time for Primeau on a club with Championship aspirations, one that the Storm would eventually achieve.
On November 15, 2018, the Battalion sent two second round picks (2020 and 2022) to the Storm for Primeau. Interestingly enough, Battalion Coach Stan Butler coached Wayne Primeau with the Oshawa Generals during the 1995-1996 season.
Once with the Battalion, Primeau’s ice time and opportunities increased, as did his intensity and his competitiveness. He would finish the season with 49 games in a Battalion uniform, scoring 10 goals and 16 assists. He would add a goal and 2 helpers in 5 playoff games.
Primeau comes with tremendous size at 6’5” and despite weighing in at 205 pounds, could stand to use a bit more muscle. Although OHL Central Scouting liked his skating, I think it’s just average. He lacks a good first few strides that prevents him from getting to top speed, which is okay for his size, at the pace that would be required.
I also don’t agree with Central Scouting’s assessment of “showing flashes of top-end skills.” That may have been the case in Minor Midget, but those skills weren’t visible in the OHL. Primeau’s offense is going to have to come from hard work, winning puck battles and getting to the front of the net, something he is capable of and will only get better at when he adds strength.
In the end, I don’t think Primeau’s vision, hockey IQ and skill set, which are all average in my opinion, are going to make him an offensive threat at the next level. Instead, he could carve out a career as a solid defensive center who is good on the draw, provide energy and physicality and eventually kill penalties, if he can improve on his footwork.
The question now is: where do you draft that type of player?