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FUTURE WATCH
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Future Watch: Martin Marincin

Oilers look to develop a Slovakian star in the WHL

Thursday, 14.10.2010 / 10:00 AM / Future Watch
By Ryan Dittrick  - edmontonoilers.com
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Future Watch: Martin Marincin
The Edmonton Oilers organization has undergone significant change over the past few months, particular with its organizational philosophy of improving defensive depth, size, and talent; and by doing so primarily through the draft. The team’s first round (and first overall) selection in the draft was a no-brainer to many, but the amount of picks stockpiled in the later rounds became increasingly valuable in terms of addressing needs in other, equally as pressing areas.

2010 Draft: Management on Marincin
Martin Marincin & Milan Kytnar at Oilers Development Camp

The Oilers’ second pick, 46th overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft turned into 6’4” defenceman Martin Marincin; a relatively unknown prospect at the time, as his development days had been spent in some of the lesser-known leagues in the European system. He spent the bulk of his young career with the Slovakian National Team and participated on the grand stage of the World Junior Hockey Championship early this year.

The 18-year old Slovakian was attractive in the Oilers’ eyes for many reasons, but his size and poise with the puck secured a firm position in the team’s pre-draft rankings.

2010 draft pick Martin Marincin is looking to have strong first season with the Prince George Cougars.
Marincin has shown a tremendous commitment that’s quite rare from such a young player making a difficult transition. For years, it was his goal to come to North America immediately after being drafted so he could further expedite his development curve, as he looks to make the professional jump in short order. The sudden transformation in playing styles in Europe to North America is often a significant challenge for a young player, but Marincin has taken it all in stride.

"In Europe, we have a bigger rink. There's a smaller rink here, so there's lots of contact, and the game is a little bit faster than in Europe. That was a little hard for me, but I've adjusted and I think I’m getting better every day.”

As far as the situation goes, Marincin knew his opportunities would be plentiful with the jump to North America. The Prince George Cougars selected Marincin first overall in the CHL Import Draft this past summer, making him one of the most valued commodities for the Oilers organization at the moment.

While his skills and on-ice leadership will be invaluable for the Cougars in the 2010-2011 season, it’s equally as important for the Oilers to have one of their prized prospects playing close to Edmonton.

Prince George has provided Marincin with an excellent opportunity and he couldn’t be happier about the situation moving forward.

"Yeah, I love Prince George so far. Lots of ice-time for me and it has really helped me grow. I think we have a great team and we could win lots of game this year."

Marincin’s introduction to the North American game began with a bang when he participated in the Young Stars Tournament a month ago in Penticton, where he got his first taste of the NHL setting and the particulars of a new playing style. Marincin acquitted himself well and made a strong case for himself as main camp began a few days later.

While his game still needs some seasoning and raw development time, he says the early season opportunity was a quite a learning experience.

"Getting used to the North American game was hard at first, but the coaches really helped me. Getting to play some games was good too; I learned faster that way."

Although Marincin still has room to grow, both physically and regarding his skills on the ice, his already established qualities have made him an intriguing prospect from day one. Due to his size and nationality, he’s often credited with the lofty comparisons to fellow countryman Zdeno Chara. While this comparison is a tad premature, Marincin says he maintains an even keel and tries not to look too far ahead.

“I try not to think about that stuff. My goal for this season is to help the team be better than last season; to make the playoffs and win as many games as possible.”

Defenceman Martin Marincin was selected 46th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
While Marincin remains focused on his personal goals, he’s not oblivious to the comparisons. He has a number of role models already playing in the NHL, meaning that he’s been given the up-close opportunity to watch his favourite players and to apply a deeper drive toward his future goals.

"My favourite player is Mike Green. I just like the way he plays; great on the powerplay, he has a good shot, a fellow D-man. I think by watching him I can learn some more and make me a better overall player."

It turns out that he models his game after his hero in more ways than one, while still providing that balance and offensive creativity that Green represents. A booming shot from the point is his best offensive attribute, which will be a benefit to a powerplay at any level.  While he doesn’t rush the puck up the ice and become a pseudo fourth forward for the team, this portion of his game does lend credence to the Chara comparisons.

Marincin has the unique ability of being able to control the pace of the game by showcasing extreme confidence with the puck and patience when developing a breakout. It’s a quality that’s possessed only the game’s best defencemen, meaning that Marincin has already cemented a valuable skill to the North American game – and also a missing component in the organization’s defensive depth.

Although Marincin has only been in North America for a short while, his game has quickly transitioned well to the needed style. Poise with the puck, a strong physical game, and virtued patience all make him an incredibly dangerous player anytime he sees the ice.

His game is improving each day and is quickly growing into something truly special; but that doesn't surprise Marincin. When asked if he was always driving towards a career in the NHL, he answered bluntly with a glowing smile that reflected his budding confidence.

"Oh yeah. Absolutely!"

NOTABLE

Marincin made his first return back to Edmonton and Rexall Place when the Cougars marched into town to play the Oil Kings earlier this week. Although Edmonton came out on top 8-7 in overtime, Marincin played a commanding game and helped provide the Cougars a chance in an offensively charged matchup.

Marincin finished the night with one goal, one assist, and an incredible +4 to help his team gain an important point in the standings.


Click here for past Future Watch articles


Author: Ryan Dittrick | edmontonoilers.com

2010-11 OILERS PROSPECT STATS

Forwards
Name Age GP G A PTS PIM Team
Cameron Abney   19 7 2 1 3 9 Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
Alexander Bumagin   23 1 0 1 1 0 Novokuznetsk (KHL)
Philippe Cornet   20 2 0 0 0 0 Oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Drew Czerwonka   18 7 4 0 4 11 kootenay ice (WHL)
Alexandre Giroux   29 2 0 0 0 16 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Curtis Hamilton   19 7 4 7 11 6 saskatoon blades (whl)
Teemu Hartikainen   20 2 2 0 2 0 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Kellen Jones   20 2 0 1 1 2 quinnipiac university (ecac)
Milan Kytnar   21 2 0 1 1 2 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Anton Lander   19 9 1 3 4 10 timra ik (sel)
Matt Marquardt   23 0 0 0 0 0 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ryan Martindale   18 6 4 4 8 6 ottawa 67's (ohl)
Brad Moran   31 2 0 1 1 0 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ryan O'Marra   23 2 0 0 0 0 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Linus Omark   23 2 0 0 0 4 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ben Ondrus   28 2 0 1 1 7 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Kristians Pelss   18 7 1 1 2 4 edmonton oil kings
Tyler Pitlick   19 5 2 0 2 2 medicine hat tigets (whl)
Toni Rajala   19 6 2 4 6 0 ilves tampere (fnl)
Liam Reddox   24 2 0 0 0 0 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Gregory Stewart   24 2 0 0 0 4 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Chris Vande Velde   23 2 0 0 0 0 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Defencemen
Name Age GP G A PTS PIM Team
Shawn Belle   25 2 0 0 0 5 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Jordan Bendfeld   22 0 0 0 0 0 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Kyle Bigos   21 1 0 0 0 2 merrimack college (h-east)
Jeremie Blain   18 2 0 1 1 2 acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)
Taylor Chorney   23 2 0 0 0 2 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Brandon Davidson   19 8 1 4 5 9 regina pats (whl)
Troy Hesketh   19 4 0 0 0 10 chicago steel (ushl)
Martin Marincin   18 8 3 3 6 17 prince george cougars (whl)
Johan Motin   21 0 0 0 0 0 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Richard Petiot   28 2 0 0 0 4 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Jeff Petry   23 2 0 0 0 0 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Alex Plante   21 2 0 0 0 0 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Goalies
Name Age GP W L T SO GAA PCT Team
Tyler Bunz   18 2 0 2 0 0 3.59 .854 medicine hat tigers (whl)
Martin Gerber   36 2 0 2 0 0 4.01 .857 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Bryan Pitton   22 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Olivier Roy   19 4 3 1 0 0 2.17 .924 acadie-bathhurst titan (qmjhl)
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