VANCOUVER – Long Island hockey had a big day at the NHL Draft Saturday as three players from the area were chosen on Day 2 of the draft at Rogers Arena.
Shane Pinto, a 6-2, 195-pound center from Franklin Square, was the first player selected in the second round, No. 32 overall, by the Ottawa Senators, while East Islip native Robert Mastrosimone, a 5-10, 159-pound left wing, was also taken in the second round, 54th overall by the Detroit Red Wings. The third Long Islander chosen was Marshall Warren, a 5-11, 170-pound, left-shooting defenseman from Laurel Hollow native, who was chosen in the sixth round, 166th overall, by the Minnesota Wild.
Pinto, a righthanded shot who played in the USHL in 2018-19, is committed to attend the University of North Dakota in the fall. Mastrosimone, a lefthanded shot, also played in the USHL. He is committed to attend Boston University. Warren was a member of the U.S. National Team Development Program. He is committed to play for Boston College in the fall.
Pinto, 18, will be the first New Yorker to play for North Dakota. He had 17 goals, 15 assists in 32 games for the Lincoln Stars in Lincoln, Neb., before being traded to Tri-City, where he played 26 games and scored 11 goals, 16 assists, 27 points.
Pinto, who was the rated the No. 28 North American skater according to the NHL’s Central Scouting rankings, was projected by most to go in the second round, but he knew the first round was an outside possibility.
“It’s always in the back of your mind,’’ he said of the chance of getting selected Friday night, in the first round. “Last night was pretty mentally draining. It’s very relieving right now. I had an idea I was going in the second round, but not the first pick.’’
Pinto trains in the offseason at the Islanders’ practice facility in Eisenhower Park, with Warren and others – including Rangers prospect Adam Fox. He was relatively late to hockey – he started playing at 8 years old – and had thought initially he would play college baseball (he was a shortstop). But after attending H. Frank Carey High School, he made the decision to pursue hockey at 15, and left to go the Select Academy in Connecticut. He grew up a Penguins fan, idolizing Sidney Crosby.
Mastrosimone, also 18, was the 53rd ranked North American skater in the CSS rankings. He played for the Long Island Royals before leaving the Island to go to Shattuck St. Mary’s, in Minnesota.
“That was a hard decision,’’ Mastrosimone said of going to Minnesota. “Fourteen years old, from Long Island, going all the way out to Minnesota. But when I was a young kid, I read an article about Sidney Crosby went to Shattuck. And ever since that, it was my dream. And when the opportunity presented itself, I took it.’’
After two years at Shattuck, Mastrosimone went to Chicago to play for the Chicago Steel of the USHL. In two years there, he scored 47 goals and 105 points, including 31 goals and 60 points in 2018-19. He grew up an Islanders fan and his favorite player is John Tavares, even after Tavares left the Isles to join the Toronto Maple Leafs last summer.
“Yep. Still a fan,’’ he said.
Warren, 18, had eight goals, 26 assists, 34 points in 58 games with the NTDP team, but his rating with Central Scouting dropped in the second half of the season. He was the 39th rated North American skater at the midterm rankings, but was No. 61 in the final rankings.
Warren, who started out as a figure skater (his sister, Arielle, is a member of the National Champion Boston University Competitive Figure Skating club), admitted he used to feel awkward around his friends who played hockey.
“My mom’s like, ‘You’ve got to figure skate. You’ve got to be a good skater,’’’ he said with a grin. “So, it was kind of embarrassing when I was on the other ice, and my buddies would be walking over playing hockey.’’
But after three or four years of figure skating, his mom switched him to hockey. Warren played with for the Long Island Gulls, the New Jersey Colonials, the New Jersey Avalanche and eventually moved on to the NTDP. He also played two years at Portledge High School.