Ducks prospect Mason McTavish expected to make Canada’s Olympic team

View Original Notice ? Ducks prospect Mason McTavish expected to make Canada’s Olympic team

Canada is scheduled to announce its roster Tuesday for the 2022 Winter Olympics, and Ducks prospect Mason McTavish is expected to be one of the names on the list, making him one of the youngest and least experienced players to be named, if recent reports are accurate.

It would be another stop in what’s already been a whirlwind 2021-22 season for McTavish, who was selected third overall in the NHL draft last July and made an auspicious debut with the Ducks by scoring one goal and assisting on another in their season-opening game Oct. 13.

McTavish, who turns 19 on Sunday, had two goals and one assist in nine games with the Ducks. He had one goal and one assist in three games with their AHL team, the San Diego Gulls. He then had six goals and one assist in five games with the Peterborough Petes of the OHL.

Peterborough then traded him to the Hamilton Bulldogs, for whom he has three goals and two assists in two games. He also had three goals and two assists in two games for Canada at the World Junior Championships in Edmonton before the tournament was shut down because of COVID-19.

Next stop: Beijing.

When the NHL pulled its players from the Olympics in order to use the originally-scheduled three-week break to make up games postponed by COVID-19 outbreaks around the league, it opened the door for junior-level players such as McTavish and others outside the NHL to participate.

“I think it’s just going to make him a better player,” Ducks assistant coach Geoff Ward said Monday via Zoom from Boston. “You get to tournaments like that and you get to watch guys who are seasoned pros go about their business, guys who have won, guys who have done things, and it only rubs off on you as a young player.

“Knowing the type of player Mason is, he’s going to go in there with his ears open and go there and play hard. He’s going to have the opportunity to learn from some really good coaches, some really good players. That’s only going to allow him to come back and be more prepared for what lies ahead of him.”

Claude Julien, a former Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens coach, will coach Team Canada.

The Olympic tournament begins Feb. 9.

OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE

Troy Terry played for Team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympics, when the NHL decided against sending its players to Pyeongchang, South Korea. Terry was a standout for the University of Denver at the time, but he hadn’t signed with the Ducks, who drafted him in the fifth round in 2015.

“For me, it was my first taste of playing with men and being on a team with guys with families and kids and that type of thing,” Terry said. “Mason has been around us (the Ducks), so it’ll be a little different for him, but it’s still good competition on the biggest stage there is. We’re all excited to watch him.”

Terry recalled the excitement of living in the Olympic Village in Pyeongchang and attending other Olympic events, especially short track speedskating. He said he hoped McTavish also would get an opportunity to live the full Olympic experience, calling it “a really special experience, one I hold dearly.”

“I’m excited for him to have that experience,” Terry added.

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