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(S50 Class) Mason Richardson - Player [1/2]


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D - Mason Richardson
Birthplace: Riverside, California, USA
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 216 lbs
Jersey Number: 15
Drafted: S40 Round 1, Pick 2 (Cologne)
Username: Kendrick

 

What does it mean to be a defenseman? Is it your goal prevention? Your team's accomplishments? Your offensive output? Physical play? Mason Richardson's answer to that question was "all of the above". Richardson exemplified what it means to be a defenseman from Day 1 of his VHL career. It's honestly incredible that he only ever won one championship, as he was consistently a valuable asset to his squad, and demonstrated a strong work ethic throughout his career. He made good on his second overall selection in the Season 40 draft, spending multiple seasons with the Express before his trade to HC Davos Dynamo. Richardson is a deserving Hall of Fame selection because he was a guaranteed performer from the moment he stepped onto the ice.

 
Career Awards:

S39 Bourque Trophy - VHLM Top Defenseman
S42 Continental Cup - Playoff Champions (COL)
S42 Terence Fong Trophy - European Playoff Champions (COL)
S46 Alexander Beketov Trophy - Most Assists
S46 Sterling Labatte Trophy - Top Defenseman

Season 40 Statistics (VHL):

Regular Season
S40(COL) 72GP | 30G - 68A - 98P | +58 | 323SHT | 3GWG |  73PIM | 124HIT | 137SB
Playoffs
S40(COL)  4GP | 0G -  1A -  1P | -5 |  5SHT | 0GWG | 13PIM | 12HIT |  8SB

In Richardson's rookie season, surprisingly enough he would put up his best offensive season of his career. Those thirty goals from the blueline were tremendous, and his 68 assists in 72 games are nothing to sneeze at. What impresses most about his rookie season is his excellent +58 rating. It's rare to see a rookie perform so completely, and Richardson was an asset on both ends of the ice for the Express, rewarding them for selecting him with such a valuable pick. It was unfortunate to see him struggle in the postseason in a fast Cologne exit. His 98 points as a rookie ranks as one of the best opening campaigns of all time.

 

Season 41 Statistics (VHL):

Regular Season
S41(COL) 72GP | 20G - 59A - 79P | +45 | 286SHT | 4GWG |  80PIM | 131HIT | 119SB
Playoffs
S41(COL)  5GP | 0G -  3A -  3P |  0 | 11SHT | 0GWG |  8PIM | 12HIT | 13SB

While this decrease in production may seem like a downgrade, Richardson demonstrated his value in his sophomore season. Despite taking nearly forty fewer shots, Richardson still put up twenty goals from the blueline, and improved upon his hit total from the previous year while still maintaining a sterling plus-minus rating. He improved on his playoff performance, despite another quick Cologne exit in the first round of the playoffs.

 

Season 42 Statistics (VHL):

Regular Season
S42(COL) 72GP | 21G - 50A - 71P | +11 | 197SHT | 1GWG | 159PIM | 171HIT | 139SB
Playoffs
S42(COL) 16GP | 4G - 14A - 18P | +7 | 44SHT | 0GWG | 41PIM | 32HIT | 25SB

Just one point shy of a third straight point-per-game season, Richardson saw his shot totals drop dramatically, yet he managed another twenty-one goals. Furthermore, he improved upon his hit and shot block totals. Richardson showed growing pains in adding to his physical game, racking up a very large penalty minute total compared to the rest of his career. Nevertheless, he had his most successful postseason ever, as the Express won both the Fong Trophy and achieved the ultimate goal: The Continental Cup. Richardson's eighteen points and physical play were an essential part of Cologne's run to the championship.

 

Season 43 Statistics (VHL):

Regular Season
S43(DAV) 72GP | 21G - 53A - 74P | +28 | 195SHT | 4GWG |  61PIM | 149HIT | 108SB
Playoffs
S43(DAV)  6Gp | 0G -  3A -  3P | +1 | 15SHT | 0GWG | 16PIM | 11HIT | 15SB

Mason Richardson was traded in the wake of his first and only title to HC Davos Dynamo along with multiple draft selections for Azmet Ali and Bismarck Koenig. In his first season with his new squad, Richardson once again posted a point-per-game season and a strong plus-minus rating. He also achieved his fourth twenty-goal season in four tries, suggesting a bright path ahead. While his playoff foray ended in the first round yet again, he continued his consistent play.

 

Season 44 Statistics (VHL):

Regular Season
S44(DAV) 72GP | 10G - 58A - 68P | +16 | 184SHT | 1GWG | 154PIM | 143HIT | 100SB
Playoffs
S44(DAV)  7GP | 1G -  3A -  4P | -2 | 18SHT | 0GWG | 13PIM | 14HIT | 19SB

In his second season with Davos, Richardson had a rare "off year." It's hard to really characterize it as an off year, but he struggled to produce offensively, per his usual standards.  Despite this, he maintained a positive rating, and still contributed a solid physical campaign. The fact that an "off year" for Richardson was a double-digit goal and near-point-per-game season speaks to his consistent quality throughout his career.

 

Season 45 Statistics (VHL):

Regular Season
S45(DAV) 72GP | 13G - 66A - 79P | +24 | 225SHT | 3GWG | 128PIM | 127HIT | 122SB
Playoffs
S45(DAV)  9GP | 7G -  6A - 13P | +2 | 39SHT | 1GWG | 22PIM | 19HIT | 14SB

To begin the final stages of his career, Richardson rebounded with a 79 point season and what was honestly the best playoff performance of his career. Davos would fall, but Richardson's seven goals in nine games was remarkable for a blueliner, and echoed the early days of his career as an elite offensive defenseman. What spoke most about this performance was his continued physical presence. Richardson was never one to sacrifice defense and physical play for offensive opportunities.

 

Season 46 Statistics (VHL):

Regular Season
S46(DAV) 72GP | 11G - 73A - 84P | +35 | 229SHT | 3GWG |  88PIM | 184HIT | 108SB
Playoffs
S46(DAV)  9GP | 1G -  6A -  7P | -1 | 17SHT | 0GWG | 21PIM | 31HIT | 14SB

Richardson would follow up his resurgent Season 45 with his most complete season. In Season 46, he put up a staunch +35 rating and 84 points. His 184 hits was the highest total of his career at that point, and his ability to provide a devastating physical presence while reducing his penalty minutes was a hallmark of just how well-rounded his efforts were in his penultimate season. Having secured the Beketov Trophy for racking up the most assists in the league, he capped it off with the Labatte Trophy, recognized as the league's top defenseman. Surprisingly enough, it would be his last season with Davos, as he made one final move to finish his career.

 

Season 47 Statistics (VHL):

Regular Season
S47(RIG) 72GP | 17G - 47A - 64P |  -9 | 236SHT | 6GWG | 136PIM | 189HIT | 128SB

Richardson joined the Riga Reign for his final VHL season. It was here that he would finish with the lowest point total of his career, and the only negative rating of his career. While he maintained his physical play, Richardson missed the playoffs for the only time in his career as well. That being said, he delighted the Riga faithful with a whopping six game winning goals.


Career Totals:

Regular Season
576GP | 143G - 474A - 617P | +208 | 1,875SHT | 25GWG | 879PIM | 1,218HIT | 961SB
Playoffs
56GP  | 13G - 36A - 49P | +2 | 149SHT | 1GWG | 134PIM | 131HIT | 108SB

 

All in all, the career of Mason Richardson was the sort that sometimes went unnoticed while he played. His greatest strength was his consistent performance in all areas of the game. His value was never in question. Richardson remains as an example of what young defensemen should aspire to be: dependable, hard-working, and versatile. His work ethic was legendary, and ranks among the shortlist of VHL legends. His commitment to the physical side of hockey and his early goal-scoring prowess remain examples of what a top pick should be and should achieve in the VHL.

 

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  • DollarAndADream changed the title to (S50 Class) Mason Richardson - Player [1/2]

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