Prospects Bunz & Marincin set to turn pro
|Tyler Bunz at Development Camp (Photo by Andy Devlin / EOHC).
It's time to turn pro.
Bunz, 20, just wrapped up his four-year junior career with the WHL's Medicine Hat Tigers, posting a 39-17-5 record, 2.57 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in 2011-12. As such, he was named as the League's Goaltender of the Year.
As far as goals for the upcoming campaign are concerned, the local product has his sights set on a starting role with the ECHL's Stockton Thunder, or a backup position with the Oilers' top affiliate, the AHL's Oklahoma City Barons.
"It's going to be tough leaving junior -- I already miss it," he said, reflecting back on the success he had with the Tigers. "It was a good four years in Medicine Hat, but at the same time I want to make the jump in my hockey career, make that next step and hopefully become an NHL goalie. This is the first starting point that's going to be coming my way.
"I need to make sure I play my best no matter where I play. I'm really focused coming into this year. I know it's a big year for me and I'm really excited about it."
Considering all the training sessions players' summers are now consumed with, Bunz said his has been incredibly short but doubly as productive than it's normally been. Wrapping it all up with a tour at Perry Pearn's 3-on-3 Camp is a suitable ending.
"The talent here is pretty good," he laughed. "You've got guys like (Jared) Spurgeon and (Tyler) Ennis, (Kyle) Chipchura and (Jason) Chimera -- all these high-end guys that know how to put the puck in the net. It keeps you on your toes.
"I need to make sure I'm competing on every shot. I know it's just a little 3-on-3, but at the same time, you want to be the best goalie out there."
Bunz will be spending the next couple days in Medicine Hat, but will return to Edmonton next week to continue at Perry Pearn's.
MARINCIN GETS INVOLVED
One of the Oilers' most highly touted prospects, Martin Marincin, has completely immersed himself in the club's program. As the 6'5", 196-pound defenceman is set to turn pro on the Barons' blueline this season, Marincin has spent his entire summer working out, both on and off the ice in preparation for September's training camps.
"It's been very good," he said. "I've been in Edmonton all summer working out with (Oilers Strength and Conditioning Consultant) Simon Bennet and other Oilers players. I've also been skating and practicing with (Oilers Skating & Skills Coach) Steve Serdachny. It's been very good for me. Whether I play in the NHL or AHL this year, I want to be ready for camp.
"I'm so excited (to turn pro). Every year I'm older and it's my goal to play in the NHL. I'm coming here and working very hard, because I want to be a good pro player."
Marincin split the 2011-12 campaign with the WHL's Prince George Cougars and Regina Pats. Combined, he collected 11 goals and 40 points in 58 regular-season games.
As his season wrapped up in Regina, he also got a chance to dress in six games with the Barons, recording one assist and a +4 rating.
-- Ryan Dittrick, edmontonoilers.com | Follow me on Twitter @ryandittrick