Pembroke — Three 16-year-old members of the Pembroke Lumber Kings U18 Midget team, two of whom were taken in the first round, are celebrating their recent selection in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) draft held Saturday.
Mason McTavish, son of Eganville natives Dale and Christine McTavish, now of Carp, was selected fifth overall in the first round by the Peterborough Petes. A 6’1”, 195 lb., centre with the U18 Kings, he scored 47 goals and added 32 assists for 79 points in his 41 games this season with the team.
In addition, he scored three goals and added four assists in five games when called up to the Central Canada Hockey League’s (CCHL) Pembroke Lumber Kings, which his father owns. He is an alumni of the Ottawa Valley Titans Bantam program and scored 49 goals and had 34 assists for 83 points in just 30 games in the 2017-18 season.
Mason was an assistant captain with the U18 squad this season. His father was also drafted by the Petes and amassed 103 goals and 143 assists for 246 points in his four-year career there. Mason was born in Switzerland where his father played in the Swiss Elite League after his career with the NHL’s Calgary Flames.
“We’re pretty proud and happy for him,” Mason’s dad told the Leader. “He had a great season and works very hard at his game, trying to get better every day.
“He’s got a really bright future in the game and we’re excited to be part of it and watch him grow.”
Mason started playing hockey at age four in Switzerland and when he returned to Canada at age eight, he played in the West Carleton Minor Association followed by three seasons with the Silver Seven. That was followed by three seasons with the Titans and this past season with the U18 Kings.
“He plays a little bit like Matthews (Auston Matthews of the Leafs) but has a lot more edge to his game,” Mr. McTavish noted of Mason’s style of play. “He’s very physical and hard to play against.
“He can play really any way you want it,” he added. “He’s always been competitive and he’s got a ton of skill and is strong and physical. But his biggest asset is his smarts, he‘s a very smart player.”
Mr. McTavish said Mason has been around the sport his whole life and has really studied the game, knowing where to be and what to do.
“That’s a big part of his game,” he remarked.
He said he had the pleasure of coaching Mason in much of his career, noting while Mason is certainly ahead of where he was at that age, there are some similarities between the two.
“He’s dominated all the way through and he’s much ahead of where I was, for sure. But we shoot similar and he has a similar skating stride.
“I always tell him I’m faster, but he‘s gaining on me,” he added jokingly.
He noted Mason has also had the pleasure of growing up with older brother, Darian, goalie with the Pembroke Lumber Kings, who regularly trains with them.
Mason is a Grade 10 student at Peak Academy in Kanata, where they do hockey training in the mornings and have classes in the afternoon. His grandparents are Brad and Rosemary McTavish of Kanata and Diane and the late Robert Kasdorff of Eganville.
28 Point Season For Enright
Isaac Enright, 16, son of Mark and Agnes Enright of Cobden, was selected 17th overall in the first round by the Niagara Ice Dogs. A 6-foot, 170 lb., right-hand shooting defenceman, Isaac had seven goals and 21 assists for 28 points in his games with the U18 Kings.
In five games with the CCHL’s Lumber Kings, he had two assists. An assistant captain with the team, he is also a graduate of the Ottawa Valley Titans Bantam program where he had six goals and 18 assists for 24 points in 29 games in the 2017-18 season.
“We’re very excited,” said Mark Enright of his son’s selection. “It’s a new step for him.”
Isaac started his hockey career in the Cobden Minor Hockey Association, playing there until his Major Atom season was over. He joined the Ottawa Valley Aces for his Minor Peewee year, and then moved to the OV Titans where he played until joining the U18 Lumber Kings this past season. A graduate of St. Michael’s Catholic School in Douglas, he is currently a Grade 10 student at St. Joseph’s Catholic High in Renfrew.
Mr. Enright said there was really never any defining point in Isaac’s career where he saw something that might have indicated he would have this type of opportunity.
“We just took him out because he wanted to play,” he noted. “He had fun with it.”
When asked to describe his style of play, Isaac said he felt he was “a two-way defenceman that can make a good break-out pass and then get up in the rush as a fourth man that the forwards need.”
He said going into the draft he had no definite idea which team might select him, adding, “I kind of had a feeling about Niagara, but I wasn’t really sure. I think they’re doing a bit of a rebuild next year, so it will be interesting to see what happens there.”
A fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Isaac said he tries to model his game after Leafs’ defenceman, Morgan Rielly.
He was unsure at this time what the next step in the process is in terms of reporting to the team.
Isaac said he is very grateful for the support his parents have given him over the years and as he pursues his hockey career.
“I really appreciate it, they helped me out a lot,” he remarked.
Isaac’s grandparents are Harry and Catherine Enright of Douglas and Julie and the late Frank Leahy of Lakefield.
Both Mason and Isaac were members of Team Ontario at the Canada Winter Games held from February 15 to March 3 in Red Deer, Alberta. Mason had two goals and two assists in six games there while Isaac posted two assists in six games.
Started Hockey At Age Nine
Joshua Reid, son of Ches and Christine Reid of Petawawa, was selected 61st overall in the third round by the Mississauga Steelheads, who had acquired the pick from the London Knights. A 5’9”, 152 lb., right-hand shooting centre, Joshua collected 26 goals and had 19 assists for 45 points with the U18 Kings. He also played four games with the Kings’ CCHL2 squad, the Whitewater Kings, where he did not register any points.
Joshua is also a graduate of the Ottawa Valley Titans Bantam team with 19 goals and 22 assists in 30 games in the 2017-18 season.
His father said Joshua actually did not start playing minor hokey until he was nine years old after their auto mechanic suggested they enroll him in the sport.
“He was probably four years behind every other child, but he had drive,” Mr. Reid noted of Joshua’s first year at the house league.
The following year, they decided to let him try out for the rep team which was a Major team and he made the squad along with three other Minor players they had called up.
“That year they went undefeated for the league and undefeated for play-off champions,” he said.
The next year, he joined the OV Aces, along with Isaac, for his Minor Peewee season, then joined the Titans for three years before joining the U18 Kings last year.
A member of the Canadian military, Mr. Reid has been stationed at Garrison Petawawa since 1992, so Joshua is definitely a “Valley kid“.
“That’s why we’re so proud of him and Isaac, they’re both Valley kids,” he remarked.
He said when they went to the recent Telus regional championship tournament, Joshua had said he wanted to represent the Valley well.
“I was pretty proud he brought that up,” he said. “He knows his roots.”
Mr. Reid said Joshua is a die-hard Boston Bruins fan, however, his favourite player is Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars.
“Joshua is a 200-foot player,” he explained. “He plays in all three zones, the defensive the neutral and the offensive zone.
“He’s one of those players,” he added.
Joshua is a graduate of General Lake Public School in Petawawa and is now a Grade 10 student at Valour.
“He’s heading to Mississauga in two weeks for a prospect camp,” Mr. Reid said. “That’s the first opportunity he gets to meet all the players on the team and try out basically.
“There were several teams that reached out to Joshua through phone interviews to see how he is as a person and that,” he added. “But nobody knows where they’re going. We’re very fortunate that he went in the third round and he’s going to prove that he deserves that opportunity.”
Joshua’s grandparents, Al and Cynthia Reid, are in Toronto and Moe and Marriette St. Louis of Quebec.
“That’s where Joshua gets the hockey skills, from the French-Canadian side of the family,” his father noted.