Crunch's Masin Adding More Offense in Second Pro Season

By Jeremy Houghtaling

Dominik Masin is seeing quite an increase in point production in his second pro season.

The defenseman recorded nine points — more than he had all of last season — during the Syracuse Crunch's 10 game win streak from Nov. 22 to Dec. 15.

Not the flashiest player, Masin has focused on making simple plays and getting the puck on net.

"We've been scoring a lot and I'm happy that I can help the team with some points," Masin said. "I don't know, I guess I've been a little lucky too."

Masin has four goals and eight assists in 25 games this season. The 21-year-old has only seen spot duty on the power play when the Crunch have dealt with call-ups, but is consistently on the team's penalty kill and has a shorthanded goal this season.

For Crunch assistant coach Ken Klee, Masin has been in the right position and puts hard shots on goal.

"I think that's going to be his M.O. as a player," Klee said. "I don't think he's ever has been or probably will be a first power play guy where you say 'Wow, he can really distribute the puck on the power play,' but he's a guy that makes hard plays and gets pucks to the net when he has a chance and puts himself in good spots."

Masin is feeling more comfortable than in his rookie year, where he posted six points and 73 penalty minutes in 69 games. The Czech native added two assists in 22 games en route to an appearance in the Calder Cup Finals.

"I'm not a rookie anymore and I know the players and teams in the league," said Masin, the Tampa Bay Lightning's second round pick in the 2014 draft. "It's been better this year so far."

Although Syracuse had a rough start to the season and went 4-9-1-2, the Crunch turned the season around with a 10 game win streak. In that time, Syracuse outscored its opponents 46-22.

"I think we've been playing good, we just weren't scoring goals," Masin said of the start of the season. "We lost a couple games before (the streak) by one goal. We focused more on structure on the ice and we've been playing better and scoring a lot of goals."

The focus for Masin in the offensive zone is finding lanes to the net and either scoring or creating a rebound.

"I want to work on getting pucks to the net quick," Masin said. "I want to move the puck well and be good on defense."

Klee believes Masin can use his simplified game to help chip in on the scoresheet for the Crunch.

"He's a guy that's trying to find a little more offense in his game ... and there are times when all of a sudden he's around the puck and he's getting a lot of chances, which is great for us," Klee said. "Any time he can get the puck and put hard shots toward the net, it's obviously a good thing for us."

Pictured: Crunch defenseman Dominik Masin looks to make a pass against the Bruins at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday.