Mason McTavish didn’t waste any time making an impact in his first NHL game.
The third overall pick in this year’s NHL entry draft became the youngest Anaheim Ducks player to score a goal in franchise history with his first career tally at 13:20 of the first period against the Winnipeg Jets in the season opener for both teams Wednesday night at Honda Center.
At 18 years and 256 days of age, McTavish punched in a rebound past Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck after Isac Lundestrom put a close-in backhand shot on the netminder. It was also the first shot on goal for McTavish, who initially was not going to be in Anaheim’s lineup. Ducks coach Dallas Eakins inserted him when regular left wing Max Jones was scratched due to an illness not related to COVID-19.
The Ducks selected McTavish with the No. 3 pick back in July after Buffalo took defenseman Owen Power and Seattle chose center Matty Beniers. Power and Beniers are playing their sophomore seasons at the University of Michigan.
McTavish is the youngest Ducks forward and second-youngest player in franchise history to appear in a game. Defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky made his NHL debut for Anaheim at 18 years and 248 days on Jan. 21, 1995, also against the original Winnipeg Jets.
The Swiss-born Canadian also became the third Anaheim player to make his debut in the team’s season opening game in his draft year, joining Chad Kilger in 1994 and Cam Fowler in 2010.
This story will be updated.
(Photo: Gary A. Vasquez / USA Today)