In an alternate reality, Mason Marchment is the answer to the trivia question: Who knocked Mitch Marner out of the playoffs the first time he was going for the Memorial Cup?

In this reality, he was scouted by the Leafs, perhaps helped along by the fact he played for the Mississauga Steelheads, who had a fellow named Michael Nylander on staff at the time. In the spring of 2016, he was signed to an ATO with the Marlies.

Marlies sign Mason Marchment and Tyler Wong to ATOs

Most players signed to ATOs stick around for a bit and then are never seen again. Instead, he was signed to an AHL contract almost immediately.

Neither of those other players are with the organization any longer. Marchment played 3 Marlies games that spring and had no points.

In 2016-2017, he played less than 10 games in the AHL, spending most of his season on the Orlando Solar Bears, where he had 20 points in 35 games, and five points in seven playoff games. He was well thought of by the fans and played his signature tough, but not too tough style. He’s not a fighter, although he has fought. He’s more of a Leo Komarov type, a rarity in an organization rife with smaller, speedier wingers with better scoring ability.

In this season, he decided to show everyone how he could score too. For the first half of the AHL year, he was the go-to guy for points. Andreas Johnsson took over in January, but Marchment (and Ben Smith) started the season hot. He has nine goals and 12 assists in 37 AHL games so far this year, and he achieved that playing on the bottom six in a largely defensive role most of the time. He missed some time with an injury, but he’s back in regular rotation on the lineup now.

He’s got a better point per game rate than Dmytro Timahov, Jeremy Bracco, Trevor Moore, Adam Brooks and Frederik Gauthier. Oh, and he was getting more points than Kerby Rychel too, making that trade to the Montréal Canadiens not much of a loss. Rychel was the most similar player on the roster, and Marchment has won the competition for the kind of AHL or NHL jobs they are qualified for.

As an advertisement for hard work in the minors leading to prosperity, he’s a good one. And a very well-timed one, since the St. John’s ECHL team will be starting to stock up with players hungry to prove they can move up the ranks.  Will he ever play in the NHL, though? He’s only 23, and no one ever thought he’d get this far, but he’d be a depth player in the NHL, a sort of modern take on Matt Martin, if you will.  He comes at a very, very low price, which will help a cap team in the years to come.

Marchment’s contract starts counting towards the SPC limit after the end of this season, so not until July 1.

Kevin said this about him:

He’s turned himself into a solid middle-6 forward on the Marlies, and he obviously carries a bit of an advantage given his size. He probably would make my T25U25 today, but there’s still a draft before our summer rankings. He’s starting to get some time as the net front presence on the powerplay, and there’s a non-zero chance that he develops into a fourth line left winger. His scoring upside is limited, but it doesn’t take all that much to get a shot as a 6’4 player who can win battles down low.

Mason Marchment’s father is the famous, or perhaps infamous is the right word, Bryan Marchment. This apple came from that tree, but he is very much his own style of player who plays hockey tough, not tough-guy hockey.  He is also six feet-four and 200 pounds all game long.