Boston Bruins

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 31: A puck sits on it's end during a timeout in the game between the New York Islanders and the Boston Bruins in Game Two of the Second Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on May 31, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Islanders defeated the Bruins 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

After addressing every other position through their first four picks of the 2021 NHL Draft, the Bruins used their sixth-round pick to add some much-needed size to the future of the Boston defense, selecting Ryan Mast with the No. 181 overall pick.

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, the right-shot Mast put up one goal and 11 points in 58 games for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League in 2019-20, but did not play in 2020-21 due to the OHL’s season cancellation.

Mast did note that he was able to play 10 games in a showcase in Erie this past year, but couldn’t help but lament what could’ve been with what would’ve been an obvious big season for a Sting  team that gave him a strong run as a 17-year-old in 2019-20.

“It was definitely frustrating that the season kept getting pushed back farther and farther until it got cancelled,” Mast, a Bloomfield, Mich. native, said of the never-was 2020-21 campaign. “It was going to be the biggest season of my life. There’s nothing you can do about it now, but I’m just looking forward to next season.”

And while the offensive numbers weren’t exactly there in his rookie season with the Sting, Mast certainly some promise in that 2019-20, with poise that made Mast look like a strong two-way threat on the backend.

“Mast popped up in the 73rd percentile for defensive zone break-ups in a massive 300 defender-long tracking set. Relative to his team average, he sat in the 85th percentile for Entry prevention and in the 58th for Carry-In against average,” wrote in a fantastic in-depth dive on Mast’s game. “Besides his flourishing offensive skills, his defensive work one-on-one solidifies his importance to Sarnia. Not only does the eye test prove it but so do the numbers, subsequently.”

But his 2021-22 will include a return to Sarnia (assuming everything gets back to normal with the OHL, as expected), where Mast hopes to build on a game he tries to model after a mix of Dougie Hamilton and the Bruins’ Brandon Carlo.

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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.