Stars forward Mason Marchment has had a unique career path.
He didn’t start playing hockey until much later than most, went undrafted and earned his first NHL contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2018, and has only played 107 NHL games at the age of 27.
But the most unique part, is how he flipped his potential on its head last season in Sunrise, Florida.
Marchment was a shutdown, defensive forward. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Before last season, he had recorded only 11 points in 37 NHL games. Before that, he averaged about ½ a point per game across the ECHL, OHL, and AHL. But in 2021-22, that all changed.
Playing on the highest-scoring team in the NHL, Marchment recorded a career-high 18 goals and 47 points in 54 games. He added one goal in four playoff games for the Panthers. The most impressive part, is that he did this playing fourth-line minutes, averaging only 14:07 per game.
That massive uptick in production earned him a hefty four-year, $18 million contract with Dallas.
‘There’s not many guys like that. His career path is very very unique, Stars Head Coach Pete DeBoer said. “We are the benefit of that because we are getting him at the right time.”
For the first time since signing with Dallas this summer, Marchment will return to Sunrise on Thursday night to face his former club.
“I’m excited, he said. “It will be fun to get out there and play against the old boys. I really enjoyed my time there. Good group of people, great staff. Definitely people I will have friendships for life.”
While it is always exciting to play against a former team and see some old friends, Sunrise also holds a special place in Marchment’s heart. It is the city in which his career was reborn.
“It was definitely big,” he said. “They gave me a really big opportunity there, able to open up my game a little instead of just playing shutdown. I am thankful for that.”
DeBoer mentioned on Tuesday night that Marchment was visibly excited to get going on this trip. For a lot of guys, it is a big step that allows them to close the door on an old chapter, and fully move on to the next one.
For Marchment, getting on this trip was even more important following a very emotional game last Friday, when the Stars and San Jose Sharks honored his father Bryan, who passed away this summer.
“With everything last week with the San Jose game and honoring his dad, I think he needed to get on the road and come back here where he did a lot of good things,” DeBoer added.
Lineup Notes: The Stars will make a few changes tonight in Sunrise.
Denis Gurianov is still unavailable with an upper-body injury.
Joel Hanley will come in, Colin Miller will sit. DeBoer mentioned the importance of getting Hanley some games and cited a lack of consistency as the main reason for Miller being the odd man out.
Adding a lefty in place of a righty forces a shift in D pairs, including Miro Heiskanen going back to his offside.
Starting goaltender: Scott Wedgewood is expected to start his sixth game of the season and first since the return of Jake Oettinger. He holds a 3-2-1 record with a .903 save percentage.
Stars Projected Lines
- Jason Robertson – Roope Hintz – Joe Pavelski
- Mason Marchment – Tyler Seguin – Matej Blumel
- Jamie Benn – Wyatt Johnston – Ty Dellandrea
- Luke Glendening – Radek Faksa – Joel Kiviranta
- Ryan Suter – Miro Heiskanen
- Joel Hanley – Nils Lundkvist
- Esa Lindell – Jani Hakanpaa
- Scott Wedgewood
- Jake Oettinger
Panthers Scouting Report
The Panthers have been an up-and-down team this season. They hold a 9-6-1 record but are 5-5-0 in their last 10.
Surprisingly, they rank middle of the pack in goals-for (53) and their special teams have really struggled, ranking 28th (PP) and 20th (PK) in the league.
Newcomer Matthew Tkachuk has led the way for the Cats with five goals and 20 points in 14 games.
Sam’s Three Keys
- Stay out of the box…duh!
- Get back to the intense and structured defending.
- Allow Marchment to take in all of the emotions.