Out of all of the Detroit Red Wings prospects competing at the 2022 World Junior Championship (WJC) this August, one stood out above the rest. Wearing red, white, and blue to represent the United States, Carter Mazur was easily one of the best players in the tournament. Although his team was eliminated earlier than anticipated, he gave it his all every minute that he was on the ice.
Through five games at the 2022 WJC, Mazur scored five goals, and two assists, and carried a plus-1 rating. Three of his goals came from his time on the USA power play which was the third best of the tournament with a 42.64% success rate. He finished second overall in goal scoring just behind Mason McTavish, who had eight goals and then 13th overall in total points. Upon their elimination from the tournament, he was named one of the top three players on the team alongside Thomas Bordeleau and Luke Hughes.
“I feel like I’ve really elevated my game and kind of – I like to say it’s being like a prick. I feel like that’s kind of my job. I like to get under people’s skin and that’s something that I feel like when I’m at my best it’s what I do.”
Mazur is a bit of a menace on the ice and is not afraid of being physical. Yet he balances this out with his speed and being a threat in the offensive and defensive zones. He’s sneaky and can maneuver around his opponents to find scoring chances consistently and has shown that he can rack up points at both the collegiate and junior levels.
Mazur’s best game of the WJC was against Switzerland in the preliminary round where he put up two goals and an assist for an impressive three-point game. He was rightfully named the Player of the Game for the United States and had his family cheering the entire time. In the next game against Austria, he netted a goal after slipping through the Austrian defense, which served as quite a birthday present for his grandpa.
A Successful Collegiate Rookie Season
Mazur was alongside his fellow University of Denver teammate Sean Behrens in Edmonton, which gave them both a chance to get some off-season work in. Behrens, Mazur, and the Pioneers brought home a national title earlier this year after defeating Minnesota State in the Frozen Four. It was Denver’s 9th NCAA title and their first since 2017 – making them tied for the most all-time titles with the University of Michigan. The chance to be on an incredibly talented collegiate team that won the NCAA tournament and a national juniors team competing for a two-peat gold medal was a once-in-a-lifetime combination. He took full advantage of both his collegiate and junior seasons and proved that he could be a key player on the ice in all competitive situations.
“He’s [Mazur] added a lot. We’re really fortunate to get him. He’s added a ton of value on and off the ice. Plays the game the right way. He gets to dirty areas, finishing checks, but has a skill set to him that he can make plays, score goals, set teammates up. Does a lot of little things right.”
Denver head coach David Carle (from ‘Jackson native, Red Wings draft pick Carter Mazur gets shot at national title with Denver,’ Michigan Live, Apr. 8, 2022)
Aside from the United States not being able to complete their quest for a two-peat at the WJC, winning has been a huge part of the last year for Mazur. On top of the NCAA title for the Pioneers, he was named the NCAA Rookie of the Year – a nice garnish on a splendid season. He had the sixth most goals (14) and points (38), and the third highest plus/minus rating (plus-23) on this team, which is not too shabby for a freshman.
Now going into his sophomore season at the University of Denver, Mazur is not planning on letting his success stop anytime soon. This may be the last year he chooses to play in the NCAA before heading up to a professional league such as the American Hockey League or the Ontario Hockey League, but it’s hard to call just yet. Regardless of where he chooses to go next, he will be an exciting name to keep an eye on in the college hockey circuit for the 2022-23 season.
Delaney Rimer writes about the Detroit Red Wings for THW who brings a new perspective to the hockey scene as a young female in the industry. Formerly, she wrote for Octopus Thrower- a Detroit Red Wings fan blog.