John Marino and his Tri-City Storm won the Clark Cup this spring, capping off a strong season for the Edmonton Oilers draft pick. The USHL is a quality league, getting better each season and delivering excellent prospects to NCAA leagues, the minors and eventually the NHL. We don’t get a lot of information on these players, so what kind of season did John Marino have in 2015-16?
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) May 21, 2016
Marino is 6.02, 190 pounds and is a right shot defenseman. His USHL numbers this season (56gp, 5-25-30) translate to an NHL equivalency of 12 points in 82 games—a humble total, but he is regarded as a solid puck moving defenseman. His 30 points this season ranked him No. 13 among blue liners in the entire league.
— SuperNova (@SuperNovs1) May 25, 2016
BEYOND THE BOXCARS
We have severe limitations in evaluating talent from the USHL, due to lack of exposure (when did you see your last USHL game?) and lack of useful statistical information. I hope to live to see the day when all of these leagues provide time on ice (and in each discipline) and basic stats that can help fans get a good long look at these prospects. The USHL is actually more user friendly than some of the CHL leagues (hello WHL!!!) and I can pass along some situational stats:
- Marino overall boxcars: 56gp, 5-25-30
- Marino even strength: 56gp, 2-14-16
- Marino power play: 56gp, 3-11-14
- Marino penalty kill: 56gp, 0-0-0
Those numbers suggest Marino is a big part of the Storm PP (he is tied for No. 4 in team scoring, No. 2 among defenders) and the EV numbers jive with a good puck handler. Luedeke’s words above during our recent conversation on the Lowdown are encouraging, and with a possible four years ahead at Harvard, Marino should get plenty of time to develop. He does not shoot the puck a lot—Marino’s 71 shots on goal ranks No. 40 in the USHL among defensemen.
— Eld Hockey Group (@eldhockey) May 22, 2016
We are early days in terms of USHL stats that give us insight into players, but the dandy site AHL Prospect-Stats.com is delivering valuable information.
- Marino EV Points-per-game: 0.286 (ranks No. 19 among defensemen league wide)
- Marino Primary EV Points-per-game: 0.161 (ranks No. 21 among defensemen league wide)
- Marino Power-play points-per-game: 0.250 (ranks No. 9 among defensemen league wide)
The names ahead of Marino include some highly touted names for this year’s draft (Chad Krys, Adam Fox) and are worth a look if you enjoy draft discussions. Marino has good size, can skate well, and as Luedeke says is an intelligent player. Miles to go, but early arrows encouraging for John Marino.