In the third round of the 2021 NHL Draft, the Detroit Red Wings have selected their first forward of the draft, left winger Carter Mazur.
Born in Detroit, Mazur is a local prospect that developed with the Little Caesars’ junior team. Kris Draper had a hand in his development, too:
More recently, Mazur played in the USHL with the Tri-City Storm. 2020-21 was a bit of a breakout season for Mazur, as he increased his production from 13 points (six goals and seven assists) in 47 games to 44 points (20 goals and 24 assists) in 47. He was also named the captain of the Storm.
Mazur will join fellow Detroit draft pick Shai Buium at the University of Denver next season.
The pick is an off the board pick, considered to be more of a 4th round pick or later. Mazur was not on Bob McKenzie’s draft board and the Athletics’ Corey Pronman slotted him at 114th. NHL Central Scouting ranked him 67th among North American skaters.
Weighing 168 pounds at 6-foot, Mazur needs to add some weight and strength to his frame to become NHL ready.
The Tri-City Storm President of Hockey Operations/Head Coach, Anthony Noreen, spoke highly of Mazur in a press release after his commitment to the University of Denver:
Carter is a guy who embodies everything that we try to represent here in Tri-City. He wears the “C” for us for a reason, he is someone who we are going to look forward to watching play hockey for a really long time.
Mazur is an under-the-radar player with some solid offensive skills. But He needs plenty of development before reaching his potential.
GM Steve Yzerman has continued to rely on his scouting department’s prospect board over the consensus options and Mazur is certainly a part of this trend. According to Brandon Seltenrich of the HockeyWriters, his strengths are as follows:
“Two-Way scoring threat, shooting and leadership skills.”
Mazur is a classic Yzerman forward: two-way player, high character, high motor and high upside (For a third round pick).
The theme of the draft is now clear: high upside. Each selection thus possesses a hell of a ceiling, with some bust potential. However, even as a third round pick, Mazur might be one of the safest prospects Detroit takes in the draft. His biggest flaw is size and strength, two things that can easily be solve in by enough time in the weight room. Mazur’s skills are translatable to higher levels; next year’s stint at Denver will be very telling of his future with the organization.