Future Watch: Ryan Martindale
Ottawa 67s centre Ryan Martindale recaps a successful 2010-11 season & more
Ryan Martindale (right) notched 34 goals & 83 points during the 2010-11 season (Photo by Getty Images).
"I started playing at age four with my neighbours who had two older kids," he recalled. "I saw them outside playing road hockey one day and I told my dad I wanted to play. He signed me up the very next year."
14 years later, Martindale’s name was announced at Staples Center by the Edmonton Oilers, 61st overall in 2010, instantly propelling the young centre into the NHL.
"It was an exciting time," he said. "It's such an historic franchise with such a great history of winning, and so many great players have come through there. To be a part of that organization and to be drafted into the National Hockey League was so exciting and something I'll never forget."
The 2009-10 season was Martindale’s third in the OHL, where he was able to produce 19 goals and 60 points in 61 games. He upped his totals once again in 2010-11, accumulating 34 goals and 83 points in 65 games.
"I think I had a good year. There are always ups and downs, but my teammates helped me get through those hard periods and overall I thought I had a good year and I'm happy with the way things turned out."
Edmonton’s off-season goal in 2010 was to continue to stockpile resources at centre. In doing so, acquiring size was also a priority; assets the 6’3" 182 pound Martindale possesses.
"With my size, I like to throw the body around sometimes and use that to my advantage at both ends of the ice," he said. "I need to keep going and work off-ice to build strength and fill out my body; continuing to build strength, speed and all the necessary assets."
Strength is important, but so too is the requirement for growth in other areas.
"It's a different game at the NHL level and to be able to play that, you need to be a good, complete playe," Martindale said. "I want to continue to build and develop in all areas so I can become that player soon."
As he eagerly works to improve his overall game, Martindale continues to stress the importance of his reliable, two-way play. Such an improvement was drastically recorded in 2010-11 when he registered a career-high plus-38 rating.
In 2009-10 -- a season in which his Ottawa 67s were atop the OHL’s Eastern Conference standings -- Martindale’s rating was a much lower, although still respectable, plus-two.
"I've got good skill and good vision of the ice," he explained. "At the same time, I take a lot of pride in the defensive zone and being a strong, two-way player."
"Coming into [the OHL], you learn quick that the defensive side is a very important part of the game. My coaches in Ottawa really helped me build a strong defensive game and take great importance in that. I've really come to grow and improve in that end and I take a lot of pride in being good in both areas."
His vastly improved numbers were clear defensively, but his scoring contributions also mirrored a change in his approach on the attack. His 41 assists were an excellent contribution in 2010-11, but a career-high was recorded in another, equally as important scoring category.
Martindale’s 34 goals surpassed his career-best of 23 during the 2008-09 season in Ottawa -- a remarkable increase, no doubt, but the dynamic centre believes the rise has been due to the growth and maturation process, and not an alteration in style.
"I have a good ability to score, but at the same time, whatever play is best, I'll make that," Martindale said. "If another guy on my team has a better opportunity to score, then I'll definitely give him the puck over shooting it. I’m a blend between a goal-scorer and a playmaker."
Helping to develop that skill was Ryan’s father, Jim, who played goal for a number of Ontario-based teams, including the OHL’s Toronto Marlboros in 1980-81.
"It certainly helped me out in the aspect of what to do offensively when shooting on goalies," Martindale said. "He used to strap on the pads and I used to shoot on him. He would tell me all the techniques of the goalies and where to shoot and what to look for in certain areas."
"He was a great guide and he really helped me out when I broke into the OHL."
Martindale’s hockey sense and goal-scoring ability has been tuned throughout his career in Ottawa, but his recent summer-time endeavor at Oilers Development Camp helped spark a new mission. His skill has never been doubted, but there have been question marks regarding his overall work ethic as he looks to carve an NHL career.
"You really learn how much effort is required to play at the NHL level; how hard you have to work and what you need to do to be successful," Martindale said of the camp experiences. "Coming from that and going into the summer, I trained really hard and tried to build on all aspects of my game."
With one summer in the Oilers organization already considered a success, the next will be critical to his development and potential future in Edmonton.
Martindale appears ready for the impending challenge.
"I want to continue to grow overall as a player. I'm going to put in a lot of work both on and off the ice to improve all aspects of my game. I'm going to take all the advice I can from the Edmonton organization to try and put that into my off-season training, so that when I come into camp, I've improved a lot over the summer."
Author: Ryan Dittrick | edmontonoilers.com
2010-11 OILERS PROSPECT STATS (REGULAR SEASON)
|19||60||7||13||20||-3||72||Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)|
|22||21||9||7||16||E||2||OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS (AHL)|
|20||55||6||11||17||+2||8||Oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|18||68||13||30||43||+9||78||kootenay ice (WHL)|
|23||36||13||22||32||N/A||26||university of maine (h-east)|
|26||43||13||9||22||+2||98||stockton thunder (echl)|
|29||66||30||41||71||-5||61||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||62||26||56||82||+48||22||saskatoon blades (whl)|
|20||66||17||25||42||-1||27||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|20||38||8||14||22||E||33||quinnipiac university (ecac)|
|21||73||10||12||22||-1||33||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||49||11||15||26||-14||38||timra ik (sel)|
|23||62||5||7||12||-10||20||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|18||65||34||49||83||+38||28||ottawa 67's (ohl)|
|26||75||34||14||48||-7||59||Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)|
|31||75||20||47||67||-4||36||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|23||53||2||20||22||+9||49||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|24||26||14||17||31||+7||32||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|28||75||6||13||19||-10||68||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|18||63||14||19||33||+11||29||edmonton oil kings (WHL)|
|19||56||27||35||62||+4||31||medicine hat tigets (whl)|
|19||44||9||13||22||-3||4||ilves tampere (fnl)|
|24||37||18||15||33||+14||16||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|24||69||6||9||15||-11||104||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|23||67||12||4||16||-17||45||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|22||62||3||21||24||+1||42||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|22||35||2||4||6||+5||112||stockton thunder (echl)|
|21||33||2||6||8||E||127||merrimack college (h-east)|
|18||40||2||35||37||+17||48||acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)|
|23||46||3||13||16||E||22||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||72||8||43||51||-5||71||regina pats (whl)|
|19||29||0||1||1||-12||32||sioux city musketeers (ushl)|
|18||67||14||42||56||-12||65||prince george cougars (whl)|
|21||34||1||3||4||-7||30||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|28||61||0||14||14||+10||46||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|23||41||7||17||24||-6||18||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|21||68||1||14||15||+4||122||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|18||56||35||13||8||3||2.47||.919||medicine hat tigers (whl)|
|26||31||13||13||4||0||3.13||.898||Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)|
|36||41||20||15||4||4||2.51||.914||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|22||34||18||10||4||0||2.90||.901||stockton thunder (echl)|
|19||45||29||13||2||2||2.79||.911||acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)|
2010-11 OILERS PROSPECT STATS (PLAYOFFS)
|19||4||1||0||1||-2||6||Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)|
|22||4||1||1||2||E||0||OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS (AHL)|
|20||0||0||0||0||0||0||Oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|18||5||0||2||2||E||0||kootenay ice (WHL)|
|23||-||-||-||-||-||-||university of maine (h-east)|
|26||0||0||0||0||0||0||OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS (AHL)|
|29||4||1||1||2||+1||2||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||0||0||0||0||0||0||OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS (AHL)|
|20||4||0||1||1||E||2||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|20||-||-||-||-||-||-||quinnipiac university (ecac)|
|21||1||0||0||0||0||0||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||-||-||-||-||-||-||timra ik (sel)|
|23||0||0||0||0||0||0||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|18||4||3||2||5||-3||2||ottawa 67's (ohl)|
|26||4||1||1||2||+1||6||Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)|
|31||4||1||1||2||E||2||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|23||4||0||2||2||E||0||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|24||4||1||2||3||+2||4||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|28||4||1||1||2||+3||0||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|18||4||0||2||2||-1||6||edmonton oil kings (WHL)|
|19||0||0||0||0||0||0||medicine hat tigets (whl)|
|19||-||-||-||-||-||-||ilves tampere (fnl)|
|24||-||-||-||-||-||-||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|24||4||0||2||2||+1||0||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|23||4||1||0||1||+2||4||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|22||2||0||0||0||E||2||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|22||4||0||1||1||N/A||2||stockton thunder (echl)|
|21||-||-||-||-||-||-||merrimack college (h-east)|
|18||4||2||2||4||-5||4||acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)|
|23||-||-||-||-||-||-||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||0||0||0||0||0||0||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||-||-||-||-||-||-||sioux city musketeers (ushl)|
|18||0||0||0||0||0||0||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|21||1||0||1||1||N/A||0||stockton thunder (echl)|
|28||4||0||0||0||E||4||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|23||4||0||1||1||+2||2||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|21||3||0||0||0||+1||8||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|18||6||4||2||0||1||2.03||.938||medicine hat tigers (whl)|
|26||1||0||1||0||0||9.00||.500||Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)|
|36||4||2||1||0||1||1.65||.942||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|22||1||0||1||0||0||9.00||.750||STOCKTON THUNDER (ECHL)|
|19||3||0||2||0||0||6.88||.739||acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)|