Mason Shaw is an interesting prospect to follow, and his arc to the NHL should be a good one to watch if this under-sized centerman can remain healthy. You see, Mason jumped 3 spots in this years #T25U25 to 13 after finishing 16th in last years series, and the kid barely had to lift a finger to do it. An ACL tear in last years Traverse City Prospect Tournament derailed his entire '17-18 season and so we've been sitting in a sort of limbo, waiting for Shaw to emerge from his injury and hopefully get back to where he was prior, which was stellar.
Shaw didn't play at all last season for the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL, but in his last 138 games there over the prior two seasons he racked up 154 points. (44g/110a) The kid is an electric playmaker. But with the ACL last season we got zero progress reports and the Minnesota Wild are still trying to determine if they've got a real diamond in the rough in their 2017 4th round pick. (97th overall)
Shaw did suit up for 1 game late last season with the Iowa Wild, but with such a limited showing it would be impossible to discern what kind of developmental progress he has made, if any at all. The only real indication we have heading into camp this season was the Prospects Development Camp at the X back in July where our own Joe Bouley had this to say about Shaw:
The thing about Shaw is his size. You can't come across a scouting report on the kid that doesn't mention his size as a negative, and I suppose I'll be no different here except that, for me size is more of a niche thing to get fussy about. If you're a skill guy like Shaw, being small lends itself to being elusive purely on the fact that he presents a smaller target. The negative of course being a guy with a smaller frame is going to have a tough time against some of the real monsters in the NHL.
But Shaw is also used to this. He didn't shrink down to 5'9". That's as tall as he's ever been, and he's playing alongside kids with "NHL size". He has been successful in spite of his stature, and because he's got a good head on his shoulders he sees the game and sees the plays develop exceedingly well. Although Shaw is just 19 right now, he'll turn 20 in November which means the Wild have options for where to stick this kid.
Per the NHL-CHL agreement, kids who do not turn 20 by the end of the calendar year are not eligible for AHL or ECHL deployment, meaning Shaw would either have to make the NHL squad or be sent back to the WHL. With Shaw hitting the mark this fall however, the Wild can send him down to Iowa, or even back to Medicine Hat so long as they have room for an over-ager.
Given his circumstances coming off a serious injury, starting the season back in the Juniors might serve him well to help get his hockey legs back under him, but don't be surprised if he makes his way to Iowa instead. If everyone is confident with his recovery, Iowa is the next logical step for Mason, and besides, they could really use the help. If things are going well in Iowa, he might even make the trip up north to fill in sometime due to injury or trade.