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 5×4. 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.


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? 


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)

  • The content for this piece can almost be applied directly to Gernat as well. The added problem he has is that the hill he’s climbing is even steeper being a year younger and that he plays without the edge that Marincin has. I have a crazy idea about what to do with Gernat to help stifle the D logjam peaking over the horizon, if anyone cares to read.

    (Sorry for the shameless self promoting)

    Edit: For the record I’m for keeping Marincin to see what the Oilers have in him. Only if there are dire needs on the big team that pop up quickly during the season do you entertain trading him. This is obviously a very real possibility though. Depth up front is still an issue.

    • ghostofberanek

      I agree fully, Marincin’s a keeper and Gernat should be the trade piece (the problem being every other NHL team sees his defensive deficiencies as clearly as the Oil do). Your solution of moving him up to forward is good, outside the box thinking with no risk and (potentially) big reward. Just what I’d expect from a fellow class of ’97 alumni 😉

    • John Chambers

      I agree about trading Gernat over Marincin b/c Gernat’s offensive skill set is duplicated with Schultz and possibly Nurse.

      6’5″ defenders who are poised with the puck don’t exactly grow on trees.

  • CaptainLander

    Draft develop, draft develop. Chicago’s d core was all drafted and developed. Maybe Marincin plays 3 more seasons in the AHL before making the jump because is behind in the depth chart. Not a bad problem to have. I think this kid will be a good NHler. Just not yet. Trading 21 year players that have shown growth is silly.

  • So develop him then trade him???im not exactly sold on our D as it is.. so trading a Dman that we have been grooming for years seems counter productive… he cant play in Grebishkovs spot? in a year? Keep him.. unless there is a better d man coming back..

    • John Chambers

      Indeed. It makes sense to wait 24 months to make a trade in order to a) see what kind of players Klefbom, Nurse, Marincin, & Gernat turn into, and b) hopefully augment their trade value between now and then.

      Marincin could turn into Roman Josi, and could be a very useful value contract while the big boys are getting paid.

      That said, Marincin + N Schultz + a pick for Byfuglien or Enstrom puts this team into the playoffs.

  • Craig1981

    The ability to trash comments. Oh, I can’t hardly wait for the first time I disagree with an opinion in a Gregor or Brownlee article.

    LT, what kind of return do you think MacT could get for Marincin? Or do you think he becomes a piece of something bigger?

  • “…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.”

    So basically second coming of Poti?

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      The oilers website lists Marincin as 6 ft 5 and 196 lbs.

      He is filling out and probably will be over 200 lbs this season.

  • Mark-LW

    I don’t think trading him makes sense. Sure that is where we have prospect depth at the moment, but if you look at our NHL defense right now it suggests that we might want to hold on to those prospects.

    In two years it’s reasonable to expect N. Schultz gone, Belov gone, Grebeshkov gone and Larsen not panning out.

    Then you’re left with J. Schultz, Klefbom, Petry, Smid, Nurse, and Ference (who will be fighting for the 6 spot at that point). I would prefer to hold on to Marincin because having that size with the projected tools he carries filling in Ference’s roster spot seems to round out an attractive D-lineup.

  • 15w40

    Couple things….

    Distribution of resources and cheap labour.

    For all of the top end forward picks the Oilers have had, their biggest need is still a centremen.

    If one of the top end defensive guys can be dealt for a top end centremen with the attributes the team needs – then you do it.

    The only exception to me as of right now is maybe Nurse because he seems to have a real mean streak and there isn’t enough of that either on the roster. Klefbom is a smooth skating, good first pass defensemen by all reports – they have some of that now and a real hole up the middle.

    The 2nd part is the cheap labour part.

    Right now the Oilers are running with the big dogs in terms of payrole. Unfortunately, the success at winning is down with the “have-nots” in terms of financial resources. They have cast their lot with the guys they have with the big dollar contracts and obviously envision the internal maturity and growth just by getting more NHL experience causing the ship to turn around.

    That said, the winning teams always get contributions from the guys making $2M and less to maybe tip the balance in their favour. Keeping guys like Marincin may be the key to that type of scenario.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Let them keep developing in minors to replace the ones on parent club . We want depth , then we keep all of them until the age of 25-26 . If they haven’t cracked parent club by then , then they go the way of Plante and Teubert ,Peckham , and others . Not sure about Simpson , and do not know if he would carry any value in a trade at this stage .

  • Wow…it must be July.

    Marincin has not played a game in the NHL and we are trading him, so we can protect two players that have not played a pro game in their life.

    Truly we don’t have a depth chart, we have six hopefuls, and about 5 very average NHL defenseman.

    Lets not trade anyone until they have played 20-30 NHL games so we can see what we have got.

      • HardBoiledOil 1.0

        And there you have it folks, the first truly prop-worthy post in ON history.

        I initially disagreed with this article, but as I look at Capgeek I think you may be right LT, there is not much room at the inn.

        None this year, but with injuries perhaps we see him on the big club for a few games. Next year there are currently lots of openings (only Smid and Ference are signed beyond this year), but we better be re-signing Schultz, and are probably re-signing Petry (though if you want to talk about tradeable assets…)

        Klefbom then arrives next year, and do you really want two rookie blue in your top 6? That probably means you re-sign one or both of the Russians. Plus there is Larsen. Marincin’s deal then expires. Perhaps you re-up him, but the year after that is the same story as Nurse will(should) be ready.

        In some ways it is up to the kid here I think – if he can make someone else expendible then maybe someone else goes and he gets a chair when the music stops. But as of today he seems like a good candidate to be the one standing.

  • Marincin is our most advanced defense prospect.He has played very well as a rookie in the AHL .
    Our next best prospect Klefbom has hardly played in the last two years.
    Our bright new prospect Nurse is skinny as a rail and is at least three years away from a sniff at NHL.
    So it is not logical that MacT will be suckered into trading our most NHL ready prospect for a Ben Eager clone that a lot of folks are salivating about.

  • Good post LT. My untouchable list would include only Nurse. If the club feels there isn’t a big gap from Klefbom to Marincin, then maybe Klefbom is the trade piece. It all depends on the return but my line in the sand is Darnell.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    I’ve looked at Nurse, Klefbom, Marincin, Gernat as untouchables unless in a deal for a number 1 defender. When people “throw in” Gernat and Marincin into deals they want. Let all theses defenders develop slowly, and in 3 years we will have the best group of young defence in the league.

    • Milli

      there is logic to this view. my fear with this is two fold:

      1. by the time Nurse/Klefbom/Marincin/Gernat are a great D-core, Eberle and Hall will be near the end of their contracts. if you are comfortable with the Oil winning with above D-core + RNH/Yak + whatever you trade Ebs/Hall for as the REAL core, then fine, I suppose. i don’t want to wait that long.

      2. this fan base is on the verge of exploding. many have had enough with Klowe’s act and are ready to pull the pin because they know he is there for life. i, myself, have adopted a 2nd favourite team to cheer for in the playoffs since i can barely remember the feeling of cheering for a winning Oilers club. the Oilers are near becoming like the Bluejays/Raptors for many people: the team we cheer for because they’re close to home, until August comes and we cheer for the the Cardinals/Dodgers or Spurs/Thunder.

      • I am the Liquor

        So your saying that Nurse, Klef, Marincin ect. wont be effective until theyre in there late 20’s? What an assinine outlook!

        Its not entirely outrageous to think that 2 of the three along with Petry Smid and Ferrence will make up 5 of our 6 dmen NEXT season let alone 6 years from now!

        IMO do not trade any of them unless its for bottom 6 help or a top 2 star caliber dman.

      • I am the Liquor

        Both Klefbom and Marincin get a cup of coffee this year, and one plays next year.

        Nurse plays next year.

        Gernat is 3 years.

        Hall and Ebs new contract is just starting.

  • I am not of the mind that Marincin HAS to be traded at all, but the truth is that any team who would be a willing trade partner with Edmonton HAS to be asking for this player.

    He is the best prospect who isnt off limits. He has a lot of things that are desireable to other teams. Some draft pedigree, size, youth, and now pro experience.

    When the Oilers upgrade their defense it may come from a (1 NHLer + 1 Prospect + 1 Pick) = Top Pairing Defender type equation. If that’s the case then Marincin’s name will be asked for to fill the Prospect spot.