August 20 2012 05:47PM
The Edmonton Oilers are about to fill their need on the backline with tall trees from the last several drafts. Sometimes, early arrival (and success) means hanging around longer than the kids behind you. How quickly can Marincin make the grade?
Oiler fans got a good look at Marincin at the most recent World Juniors, and saw an effective defender with good instincts. This young man is a good stretch away from the NHL, but he'll arrive in OKC as the most highly touted defenseman since Jeff Petry.
The early word on Marincin--right after the draft--was about size and speed combination and what that means on defense.
- Stu MacGregor: We’re happy to have him he’s a big kid, he skates well. A big strong guy, he has a lot of physical development to go yet. He makes a good pass, we’re excited about him.”
- Steve Tambellini: “He’s a big man, tall and lanky. I guess the poise he showed at the WJ tournament, I thought he was better there than what he was showing at the U-18. His ability to match up against skill players in the tournament, he’s got a good stick. His mobility is good. He’s a big man who can think the game.”
Marincin has the skills and size to back up the resume. He's also focused on making it to the NHL, as reflected in his interview with Andrey Osadchenko for Oilers Nation back in the winter:
- AO: In Canada you play in a junior league, while back home Martin Gernat, Tomas Jurco and you could have easily made the pro team of your hometown – Kosice. Do you keep in touch with HC Kosice? Do they want you back?
- MM: I practiced with them last summer. They talked to me and the other guys. But we all want to play in the NHL. It’s every player’s dream. I think it’s better for us to play here.
WHERE IS HE RIGHT NOW?
Somewhere in between quality junior player and AHL regular, and this season (2012-13) will tell us about timelines for young Marincin. If he can adjust quickly--and he showed very well in a small sample size at the end of the Barons regular season, going 6, 0-1-1 +4--then we can begin to imagine both Marincin and Oscar Klefbom pushing for NHL employment in the fall of 2013. If the adjustment to AHL play takes longer--and we know this happens, recent examples being Taylor Chorney, Alex Plante, Colten Teubert and others--then perhaps 2014 or 2015 will be the charm. At that point, Marincin will be in a dogfight for playing time with names like Martin Gernat, David Musil and others.
As for his current level of ability, Corey Pronman at Hockey Prospectus did a nice job summing it up:
- Pronman: Marincin is a big defender with a lot of physical tools with desirable upside. He skates well for his size, is mobile in all directions, and at times flashes true above-average ability in that area. He has good puck skills and puck-moving ability to create offense on his own and is looked to quarterback power plays to create for others as well as manning the top of the umbrella on the power play this year in the WHL. Marincin improved significantly on his consistency issues this year but he'll have odd brain cramp moment and still has some work to do in his defensive game. His physical game isn't an issue, but he could use his body a little more.
Prince George coach Dean Clark: “You know who he reminds me of is when Alexander Edler came into our league with Kelowna. I think he’s better than Alexander was with Kelowna and look what Alexander turned into in the NHL.”
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Marincin’s “range of skills” are the calling card here. Marincin will very likely line up behind Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz and Oscar Klefbom among the young men on the blue, but that's also a good slot for him. Add in the veterans who will still (hopefully) be around and 5-6D minutes for Marincin in 2013-14 or 2014-15 should be a good way for him to break in.
Marincin has a nice range of skills. He's turning pro this fall and Oiler fans should be watching him.Tall trees who can play defense stand out in a crowd.