PROSPECT PROFILE: KYLE MASTERSSep 1, 2023
The Minnesota Wild currently have one of the highest-ranked prospect pools in the NHL. Over the next few seasons, fans in Des Moines will have the opportunity to see these touted players develop as members of the Iowa Wild. As the 2023-24 season approaches, iowawild.com will feature several profiles of players in the system who are breaking into professional hockey.
KYLE MASTERS: BY THE NUMBERS
Born: Apr. 9, 2003
Hometown: Edmonton, AB
Weight: 176 lbs
Draft Position: Round 4 (#118 overall), 2021 NHL Entry Draft
Like Carson Lambos, Masters describes himself as a two-way defenseman. While playing for the Red Deer Rebels and the Kamloops Blazers in the Western Hockey League, Masters frequently jumped into the play to create scoring opportunities for his team.
“I'm someone who uses their skating ability to get up the ice and join the offense,” Masters said. “I’m definitely a passer over a shooter. I like to see how I can create space for others on the ice.”
After spending three seasons in Red Deer, Masters had a breakout year in 2022-23 with Kamloops. In his final season of junior hockey, Masters posted 65 points (11-54=65) and a +26 rating in 66 regular season games.
After an offensive outburst in his 19-year-old season, Masters feels like he is ready to compete against bigger and stronger players.
“I'm looking forward to the challenge of going up against professional players,” Masters said. “In the final year of juniors, the players are a little bit younger and you can do things you weren’t able to when you were their age.”
Masters has focused heavily on his physical preparation this offseason but hasn’t had to go far to train.
“I got lucky,” Masters said. “My dad is a professional trainer, so we have a home gym with everything in it. We have the whole nine yards in the garage. Lately, we’ve been focusing on cardio with the season coming up.”
Masters lived away from his hometown while playing in the WHL but credits his billet families with easing the transition. He anticipates that the biggest challenges during his first year in professional hockey may come off the ice.
“The hardest part might be the so called ‘adulthood,’” Masters said. “Now you're a little bit on your own and have to figure out how to do things like pay bills.”
Masters grew up in Edmonton, one of Canada’s hockey hotbeds, and skates with other top NHL prospects during the summer. Several local players, like Olen Zellweger, Zack Ostapchuk, and Reid Schaefer, are also expected to play their first full seasons of professional hockey this year.
“The Seattle Thunderbirds ended up getting a lot of my buddies,” Masters said. “The first time I played against most of my friends was in the hard-fought battles between Kamloops and Seattle.”
Masters will face friends and former teammates in his rookie year, but also expects to skate alongside a familiar face in 2023-24. Caeden Bankier, another member of the 2021 NHL Draft class, played with Masters in Kamloops in 2022-23 and is slated to make his professional debut in the Minnesota Wild organization this fall.
Stay tuned for next week’s player profile, which will feature Caeden Bankier!