Sunday, October 5, 2008

Mason The Man

When Mason Raymond moved the mesh 68 times in 107 games with the Camrose Kodiaks of the AJHL over a 2 year period, few took notice. He's playing in an inferior league critics said. The Canucks were interested though, enough to draft him 51st overall in 2005.

When the Calgary product jumped from 28 to 46 points in his sophomore season with the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs - in arguably the toughest NCAA conference the WCHA - it still didn't register that much with most observers.

But it was hard to ignore Raymond last year. After a great start with 17 points in 20 AHL games with Manitoba, he was summoned to the Canucks where his speed and smarts earned him an every day job.

He potted 21 points in 49 games before an injury ended his season.

One guy who has noticed Raymond is new Canuck Pavol Demitra, who during training camp, compared Raymond to his former teammate Marion Gaborik. The comment created a few double takes and quite likely a couple of chuckles. Some might have thought the newest Canuck was sampling BC's unofficial flower. You know "blunt" forced trauma.

But Raymond is a scorer, and with Demitra as a set up man (he's averaged 45 assists throughout his NHL career and twice set up more than 50 goals) he could provide some potent offence on the Canucks 2nd line. Taylor Pyatt is the 3rd member of the unit. I don't think 20 goals is out of question for Raymond this year, and in time with a slick passer by his side, could develop into a 30 plus goal guy.

Recently we had a conversation with Rogers Sportsnet's Dan Murphy, which included what role Mason Raymond will play this year. Click here to listen.

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