Blacklock Blossoming in Vernon

Mason.BlacklockNext on the recruiting backlog is Mason Blacklock, whose commitment near the end of August was a little surprising. The forward had played in over 143 games and registered only 24 goals and 57 points in that time. The Surrey, B.C., native was also on his fourth team in the BCHL since playing as a 16-year-old for Langley back in 2010. The truth is that the 19-year-old came on strong last season after getting traded to the Vernon Vipers. The 6'1" lefty averaged nearly a point per game in his 19 games with the Vipers and has done nothing but improve this year. He's even caught the eye of NHL Central Scouting and in his last year of draft eligibility, he's likely to be a late round draft pick. His average of nearly a goal a game, having scored 15 in his first 17 games probably helped his draft status. Blacklock earned a spot on the Canada West team but was injured before he could play in the World Junior A Challenge. It took him until mid-December to return to action for the Vernon Vipers and he's continued to put up points with 5 points in 6 games through last weekend. It's exciting to see a dynamic player like Blacklock commit to the Huskies relatively late in his junior hockey career. He could end up very similar to Shane Hanna, where he blossomed late and Michigan Tech was lucky to have room and interest from a player of his caliber. A lot of teams will likely wish they had been more aggressive with Mason Blacklock after he came on strong at the end of the 2012–13 season.

Blacklock did sign his letter of intent during the November signing period and is scheduled to suit up for the Huskies next season. He'll likely join a strong class of freshman forwards including Alex Gillies, Jake Jackson, Dylan Steman, Evan Anderson and Joel L'Esperance. Blacklock's teammate, Demico Hannoun, and former Shattuck-St. Mary's forward Brett Boeing are other potential fowards to join Blacklock in the Black and Gold sweater next year. Time will tell just how good of a pickup this is for the Huskies but all signs point towards the 2014 recruiting class' being one of the best in a long time for Michigan Tech. Blacklock will play a huge part in determining just how good this class is as he'll be expected to put up quite a few points while in Houghton.