August 02 2013 07:36AM
Martin Marincin is developing as a very nice prospect for future NHL employment. His progress from junior to pro this past season had some bumpy moments, but by season's end he was well inside the top 4D at evens and a feature player for much of the year 5x4. Martin Marincin has a problem though: he's boxed in. Klefbom ahead of him, Nurse behind, and man there's not a lot of room.
In junior, Marincin stories surrounded his height and lack of lower body strength, and the subpar team he played for in Prince George. Early in his first pro season, he caught an enormous break--being paired with Justin Schultz--and for a time the spotlight shone on Marincin in a big way:
- Steve Tambellini in October: “His natural instincts for the game are very good … coming into the Saturday game, he was leading the American (Hockey) League in plus minus. That speaks to his hockey sense. When I look at Martin, I also see a strong ability to pass the puck. His body has to get stronger from a defensive standpoint. He’s a six-foot-four, six-foot-five kid, but is he is pretty lean (187 pounds). That said, when you watch him, he has an excellent stick for poke-checking.”
The Hockey News has an excellent scouting report on most of the NHL players and prospects we talk about, and I like their summary on Marincin (here).
- The Hockey News: Is quite lanky, with a very projectable 6-5 frame. Boasts great puck-moving qualities and offensive acumen. Also displays plenty of shutdown upside. Doesn't play enough of a physical game, which he will have to improve upon in order to maximize his all-round potential at the National Hockey League level.
Marincin's size, skill set and youth (he's 21) make him an attractive option for any team, including the Oilers. In fact, if they could mail him back to 2008 chances are Marincin would have an exceptional future with the Oilers.
WE HAVE A PROBLEM
Marincin, 21 and a few defensive sorties from being ready for his first NHL game (which is followed by a longer period in the NHL and then finally arrival), is being passed by players procured after he was selected (2nd round, 2010). It's not his fault--Marincin is a terrific defensive prospect--but he's in a zone where he may be 'available' for trade.
When the Oilers took Marincin--Frank Musil pushed hard for his selection--the prospect depth chart was rail thin. Here's what the Oilers had bubbling under on the blue in 2010 summer: Jeff Petry, Theo Peckham, Marincin (just drafted), Alex Plante, Taylor Chorney, Johan Motin, Troy Hesketh and Kyle Bigos.
Fast forward to the current prospect list, and it's truly insane:
- Darnell Nurse
- Oscar Klefbom
- Martin Marincin
- Martin Gernat
- Dillon Simpson
- David Musil
That's kind of my point, this list right here. If the Edmonton Oilers begin the season and decide they badly need something, teams will be asking after someone on this list (it's the area of greatest strength for the Oilers, so MacT would probably be more open to a deal for a defender, too).
One assumes Nurse and Klefbom are untouchable, but what about Marincin? Is he a lock for future employment or will the team move forward with a future top 4 of Nurse, Petry, Klefbom, J Schultz?
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
The Oilers finally have a prospect depth chart on defense that is clearly going to produce legit big league talent. My question for you is this: WHERE is the line in the sand for untouchables? Before or after Martin Marincin? Because I'd bet money he's going to receive a lot of interest in the next 12 months, and you can't play everybody.
(Marincin photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)