Mason Marchment is not another story of an NHL player’s son claiming a long-awaited opening in the NHL. With former Leaf Bryan Marchment his father and Los Angeles draft pick Jake Marchment his cousin, Mason wasn’t drafted to the NHL at all, or even the OHL for that matter. Rather, Marchment was playing Midget hockey in his draft year, graduating each year following from OJHL to OHL to AHL.
It was 2016 when Marchment joined the Marlies for 3 games before signing an AHL deal that landed him with the Orlando Solar Bears for the 2016-17 season. The ECHL found to be a proving ground for his trademark under-your-skin style. The following season, Marchment introduced his abrasiveness to many AHL opponents, setting up Marlie powerplays en route to a Calder Cup Championship.
Marchment has been remarkably consistent throughout his time in the AHL, good for just over 0.5 p/g when healthy in both the regular season and playoffs. He lives in the middle of the ice, or generally where defending teams want him the least.
Marchment is like a magnet. When the whistle blows, everyone seems to gravitate towards him and his antics when play is stopped.
For those who miss Leo Komarov and Nazem Kadri, it’s time to get familiar with Mason Marchment. Don’t expect him to show the offensive prowess or skating acumen of fellow recall Pierre Engvall, but opponents will know when the similarly lanky winger is on the ice.
One More to the List
That is, the list of players graduated from ECHL to NHL by way of AHL contracts by Kyle Dubas.
It began with Byron Froese all the way back in 2014, Dubas’ first year at the helm of the Marlies. Froese went nearly a point per game in his first year as a Marlie, and in the season following appeared in 56 NHL games. Next was Justin Holl, who recently signed a three-year extension with the Leafs.
Mason Marchment marks the third to graduate under the careful guidance of Dubas, with an excellent supporting cast of Marlies staff. Not all the credit belongs to the keen General Manager though, as the path up two minor levels is paved with hard work. Evidenced by his style of play, effort is a concept not lost on Marchment. He’s not one to accept the praise though, instead directing it at skating coach Barb Underhill:
Mason Marchment will make his NHL debut with #Leafs tonight. Gave huge credit to skating coach Barb Underhill: “I don't think I would be here today without Barb, so really kudos to her.”
What did she do for him? “She taught me how to skate!”
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) January 2, 2020
Some will remember similar appreciation from Frederik Gauthier, adding to an already impressive resume for Underhill. She will be an important cog in the success of another potential NHL-from-AHL-contract story, Justin Brazeau. The 6’6″ winger who recorded 61 goals and 113 points in the OHL last year is currently flirting with a point per game in the ECHL.
Brazeau has garnered glowing reviews from people both inside the organization and outside. Besides the obvious hockey frame and incredible hands, the most prominent thought amongst those who know Brazeau is his humility and dedication. Kyle Dubas himself said, “If this guy doesn’t play a game for the Toronto Maple Leafs then we’ve failed.”
Marchment is one of many recalls necessitated by the injuries the Leafs have suffered, but still a deserving candidate. It is a testament to the internal depth the Leafs have achieved, with forwards Nic Petan, Pierre Engvall, Pontus Aberg, Adam Brooks, Jeremy Bracco, and Kenny Agostino gracing the roster before Marchment.
The capable replacements have allowed the Leafs to rebound from a poor start, and in the case of Engvall eased the long term loss of exceptional rookie Ilya Mikheyev. What’s oft-overlooked is the versatility of these players, such as Petan or Aberg slotting in on PP2. Marchment has something that the Leafs have noticeably lacked, size and aggressiveness.
Marchment is slotted to start on the 4th line tonight, accompanied by Brooks and Gauthier.