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FUTURE WATCH | Martin Gernat

Oklahoma City Barons rookie defenceman Martin Gernat has improved much since the start of the season and looks to get stronger

Wednesday, 22.01.2014 / 5:01 PM / Future Watch
By Chris Wescott  - edmontonoilers.com
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FUTURE WATCH | Martin Gernat
Oklahoma City Barons rookie defenceman Martin Gernat has improved much since the start of the season and looks to get stronger

“He has tremendous upside.”

Those are words any team likes to hear about their young prospects. In his first professional season, 20-year-old defenceman Martin Gernat is steadily improving.

Photo by Steven Christy

Martin Marincin would be a good example for Gernat and how the young Edmonton Oilers defensive prospect looks to develop. Marincin played in the American Hockey League for a couple of seasons, worked on his strength and defensive game and now he’s with the Oilers and playing at a high level.

Gernat is very similar to Marincin in not only coming from the same hometown in Slovia or by having the same first name, but by also being a tall, offensive defenceman with good reach.

Gernat has skated in 29 games for the Oklahoma City Barons this season. After struggling early to adjust to the professional game, Gernat has begun to show more and more potential.

“From the beginning, it was a little bit hard,” said the defenceman. “It’s the pro league. It’s the biggest men and new team and new chemistry, all the teammates, it’s all different. But, now it’s getting better and better.

Gernat is listed at 6-foot-5 on the Barons website and looks every inch of that height on the ice. Where he is looking to improve the most is with his strength.

“The summer was very good. I spent it in Edmonton. That helped me a lot. I worked out with a couple of Oilers guys so that was important and I am still working hard. I have to be stronger everywhere on the ice and off the ice so hopefully, it will come and it will put some meat on me. That will be important for me.”

It took Gernat 24 games to score his first professional goal. Since doing so twice on January 4, the defenceman has shown improvement in that area of his game. But why did it take so long for him to click offensively and defensively for the Barons? Gernat had a 55 point (9-46-55) season in 2011-2012 with the Edmonton Oil Kings. He also really turned things up in the playoffs that year with 13 points (7-6-13) in 20 games.

“It’s so tough for young defenceman,” said OKC Head Coach Todd Nelson. “Once they turn pro, there’s such a learning curve. I think, even more so than forwards. Marty… is going through the same things that Taylor Fedun and Marty Marincin went through last year. Brandon Davidson as well. Besides just playing on the ice, they have to learn to do things off the ice and be a pro. With Marty Gernat, the biggest thing with him is we all knew he had skill but he sees the ice very well.”

Gernat’s recent success has served as a boost of confidence for the rookie.

“Once again, he’s playing with more confidence,” Nelson said. “The things he has to work on is obviously, getting stronger and winning battles. Winning battles in front of the net, winning battles in the corners and it’s not so much the strength aspect. Just going through some of the workouts we’ve been doing recently, he’s a pretty strong kid. It’s a matter of having the will to do it night in and night out.

“As a coaching staff, we have to keep on him and he’s learning. He’s getting better. I like the way his confidence has grown after Christmas. He’s been contributing offensively, and he has tremendous upside. Once again, he’s a player that we have to be patient with and teach him to play the right way and be consistent with.”

Gernat is focused on bottling up his recently found confidence and transitioning it into more development.

“I’m trying to improve my d-zone because in my offensive zone, I’m feeling pretty comfortable,” he said. “It’s the d-zone, where I’m trying to improve myself and it’s getting better. I’m feeling more stronger in the corners and in front of the net. Still, I’ve got a couple of problems I have to work on that. It’s the boxing out of players in front of our goalie and that’s the next thing I want to improve.”

  Barons Player StatsAHL StandingsBarons Schedule | Past Prospect Stats: 2012-13 | 2011-12


Stats Updated as of Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. MST

Oklahoma City (AHL)


Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM
WILL ACTON F 26 19 5 2 7 2 16
BRANDON DAVIDSON   d 22 35 0 5 5 -11 24
BEN EAGER   F 30 22 1 0 1 -4 66
TRAVIS EWANYK   F 20 41 3 2 5 -6 45
TAYLOR FEDUN   d 25 32 6 16 22 6 31
MARTIN GERNAT   d 20 29 3 10 13 -2 18
DENIS GREBESHKOV D 30 26 2 5 8 -9 18
curtis hamilton   f 22 21 5 4 9 -2 11
ryan hamilton   F 28 26 5 9 14 -2 14
ROMAN HORAK F 22 26 7 9 16 2 12
brad hunt   D 25 33 4 14 18 1 16
ryan Jones   F 29 4 2 0 2 -2 2
kale kessy   F 21 35 2 4 6 -6 65
oscar klefbom   d 20 30 0 5 5 -9 8
anton lander   F 22 25 11 13 24 4 12
philip larsen   d 24 7 1 6 7 -4 4
STEVE MACINTYRE F 33 7 0 0 0 -2 30
MARTIN MARINCIN   D 21 24 3 4 7 4 5
andrew miller   F 25 37 5 14 19 0 10
david musil   d 20 28 0 4 4 -7 19
TYLER PITLICK   F 22 23 4 7 11 0 10
COREY POTTER D 30 6 0 1 1 -1 21
Bakersfield (ECHL)


Name POS age    GP G A P +/- PIM
Cameron Abney   F 22 23 2 3 5 4 64
MARTIN GERNAT D 20 3 0 1 1 -2 6
KALE KESSY F 20 3 1 0 1 -1 0
DAVID MUSIL D 20 3 1 0 1 -3 2
Canadian Hockey League
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
BEN BETKER   d 19 46 4 9 13 -5 73 EVERETT SILVERTIPS (WHL)
GREG CHASE f 19 45 25 25 50 26 45 CALGARY HITMEN (WHL)
DARNELL NURSE D 18 46 10 30 40 3 72 SAULT STE. MARIE (OHL)
JACKSON HOUCK   F 18 45 24 15 39 -4 42 VANCOUVER GIANTS (WHL)
JUJHAR KHAIRA   f 19 35 12 16 28     5 35 EVERETT SILVERTIPS (WHL)
MITCH MOROZ   F 19 45 25 21 46 24 101 EDMONTON OIL KINGS (WHL)
KYLE PLATZER   F 18 39 9 8 17 -4 14 LONDON KNIGHTS (OHL)
5 1 4 5 -2 2 OWEN SOUND ATTACK (OHL)
MARCO ROY   F 19 18 5 13 18     0  14 BLAINVILL (QMJHL)
NCAA & USHL
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
EVAN CAMPBELL   f 20 16 1 0 1 N/A 8 UMASS-LOWELL
KELLEN JONES   F 23 27 14 17 31 N/A 25 quinnipiac
JOEY LALEGGIA  d 21 24 9 9 18 n/a 24 DENVER
JOHN MCCARRON   f 21 17 4 13 17 n/a 20 CORNELL
AIDAN MUIR   F 18 31 8 11 19 13 48 INDIANA (USHL)
DILLON SIMPSON   D 20 22 4 9 13 n/a 6 NORTH DAKOTA
Europe
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
ERIK GUSTAFSSON   D 21 39 2 15 17 5 12 frolunda (sweden)
TEEMU HARTIKAINEN   f 23 41 13 14 27 4 26 UFA (RUSSIA)
ANTON SLEPYSHEV  F 19 29 3 4 7 4 4 UFA (RUSSIA)
ANTTI TYRVAINEN   F 24 30 4 6 10 5 65 JOKERIT HELSINKI (FINLAND)
BOGDAN YAKIMOV  F 19 33 7 5 12 1 2 Nizhnekamsk (russia)
DANIIL ZHARKOV  F 19 46 2 2 4 2 10 NIZHNY NOVGOROD (RUSSIA)
2014 World Junior Hockey Championships
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
ANTON SLEPYSHEV  F 19 4 2 2 4 +6 0 RUSSIA
BOGDAN YAKIMOV  F 19 4 1 1 2 +3 2 RUSSIA
Goaltenders
Name age GP w l T GAA SV% team
RICHARD BACHMAN   26 22 8 11 2 2.90 .912 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
LAURENT BROSSOIT 20 7 2 4 0 3.53 .885 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
10 7 2 1 1.70 .934 BAKERSFIELD (ECHL)
TYLER BUNZ   21 10 5 2 2 2.86 .898 BAKERSFIELD (ECHL)
4 1 1 1 3.15 .914 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
Frans Tuohimaa   22 18 n/a n/a n/a 2.99 .894 HPK HAMEENLINNA (FINLAND)

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