Mason Evan Raymond
Born September 17, 1985 (age 25) in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada
Left winger for the Vancouver Canucks
Mayray is a cute little nugget worth getting to know. He began playing hockey with the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Camrose Kodiaks; after two years he signed a letter of intent for the University of Minnesota-Duluth – after being offered a scholarship – but stayed in Camrose one more year before joining the Bulldogs for the 2005-06 season. He actually could’ve had his choice of the University of Denver, Western Michigan University or the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, but he knew he’d be needed by Minnesota.
So how good was he in his junior and college years? With the AJHL he was named MVP in 2004-05 and led them to both league and regional titles. In fact, the Kodiaks retired his number in September 2010! At Duluth, he was named to the All-Rookie Team for the 2005-06 season and was second in the WCHA in scoring behind Jonathan Toews (who was at the University of North Dakota at the time) the next season. He was even named team MVP!
He was drafted by the Canucks in 2005 and went to their (now former) AHL team, the Manitoba Moose in the 2007-08 season and did so well the Canucks signed him to an NHL contract. The next season saw him shuttling between the two teams, but he did get 21 goals in 49 Canucks games. Not bad for his rookie season!
The 2008-09 season started off with a bang (10 points in 13 games), but he only racked up 13 more for the rest of the season. He did manage to help the sophomore team beat the rookie team at the 2009 YoungStars Game, but he couldn’t save the Canucks from elimination by the Blackhawks in the postseason. But he bounced back, scoring 53 points and his first hat trick in the 2009-10 season before the Canucks were eliminated again by the Hawks in the playoffs.
The 2010 season started off well for Mayray – he signed a two-year contract the day he was supposed to have an arbitration hearing. But a broken thumb sidelined him for 10 games, and as a result he only racked up 39 points in 70 games. But the Canucks won the President’s Trophy for the first time ever, and he helped eliminate the Blackhawks, Predators and Sharks on their way to the Stanley Cup Finals.
In game 6 of the finals, Mayray was hit by Johnny Boychuk and managed to be helped off the ice before heading to the hospital. They found he had a fractured vertebra and put him in a brace till late this summer. Here’s hoping Mayray gets back on the ice ASAP!