By Jamie Neugebauer
The North York Rangers have hired Al Mason to the position of head scout, the club announced Tuesday.
Mason, who has been scouting junior hockey in Ontario for over 30 years, is also a key scout with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.
He brings his wealth of experience, and two Memorial Cup rings, to the North York family.
“The Rangers organization has always been well respected in the league,” Mason said.
“I used to go watch them over 40 years ago when they played in the provincial Junior ‘A’ league and so it’s really enjoyable to continue to be able to do what I do with such a good club. Scouting makes the winters more enjoyable and to meet some nice young people, it’s really nice at my age. These young guys are so technically advanced compared to when I started.”
Mason has experience as head scout in the league with St. Mike’s, Milton, Markham and the Toronto Patriots, and stated that skating, skill and compete level are the main characteristics he looks for in young players.
John Dean’s departure for the Ontario Hockey League was a key factor for Mason’s hiring.
“[North York] felt they should have some scouting expertise on board with John Dean leaving,” Mason said.
“He is a jack-of-all-trades and he had a lot of time for scouting. [New head coach] Mark Joslin doesn’t really have the same time for it with a family and a lot of other things on the go. I was available after the Toronto Patriots decided to let me go, so it was a good opportunity.”