Stu's just moving a chair, he's not bowing. Photo by: Bruce Bennett via Getty Images, all rights reserved
Martindale has all the tools to be a player, he just really lacks the consistency and drive to warrant a first or second round selection...Martindale lacks the competitiveness you like to see out of NHL players, and unless he starts to find some jam in his game I have a hard time envision him making the jump to the NHL in the future. He's even going to find that there's a lot of players with drive in the AHL, and unless he turns his game up a notch night in, night out, he could find himself quickly sliding down Edmonton's prospect depth chart.
--The Scouting Report
Big pivot has three OHL campaigns under his belt and still shows the same mind-numbing lack of effort and passion we saw in him playing minor hockey, when he was being touted as a can't miss prospect. But is easily pushed off the puck by smaller d-men. Soft and doesn't compete. Loses all the little battles and in not wild about contact.
--Red Line Report
Scouts love his size and skill. His work ethic and consistency? Not so much. "He's one of those kids who plays well when I'm not there," one scout joked. "The kid puts up numbers, but I don't see a consistent effort to go with the skill package. "Does he want to be a player?" another scout asked. "At times, this kid showed he could dominate games. There were times this season when he took Ottawa on his back and he was very good in the playoffs, but the consistency is just not there. He has a great frame, but I have issues with his work ethic."
--The Hockey News.
Martindale has first round skill coupled with late round competitiveness. At times he can dominate a game, and at other times, you will struggle to realize he’s on the ice. Martindale could be a steal if he can find some passion and drive in his game and utilize his size, but if he doesn’t he’ll have a rough adjustment to professional hockey.
--The Scouting Report
|Age||NHLE82 G||NHLE82 A||NHLE82 P|
So there you have it. Ryan Martindale is a big -- 6'3", 190 lbs -- playmaking center who oozes skill and ability. His NHLE numbers look outstanding, especially for a third round pick. In fact, Scott's work on NHLE shows Martindale to be the 10th most productive forward from the 2010 draft class, even though he was the 42nd forward selected. From that article:
A couple of Ottawa 67's have also been very impressive. Tyler Toffoli and Ryan Martindale both make the top ten on this list after falling to the second and third round in the draft respectively. The fact that both of them are there is each man's problem in a nutshell. The thought is that each player has problems that may prevent him from doing well at the next level, even if they don't preclude them from being dominant together in junior. The knocks on Martindale? Things like effort, consistency, passion, and a certain je ne sais quoi that scouts just don't see. Now, maybe it's because I've heard that Dustin Penner is the laziest man on the planet about one thousand one hundred and eighty one times, but I honestly have a hard time getting worked up about that stuff when the offensive results are there and the guy in question is a 6'3'' center.
What we have here is a classic stats vs. "saw him bad" disagreement. And while I'm partial to stats argument myself, it's a certain set of stats that caused me to rank Martindale the lowest amongst our group of writers. Specifically, Martindale has finally put together big offensive numbers during his 18-year-old season, but he's doing it while centering Toffoli and Shane Prince. Toffoli was selected in the second round (#47) by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2010 draft and Prince is ranked #35 in Bob McKenzie's mid-term rankings for the 2011 draft. In fact, both Toffoli and Prince are outscoring Martindale -- Toffoli's NHLE82 P is 43 and Prince's 41 compared to Martindale's 35. How much of Martindale's sudden offensive outburst is directly attributable to the time he's spent with the two second round picks?
Until that question is solved, I'm going to rely on his stats history, which from above shows an NHLE82 P of 23 and 21. That Martindale has finally solved this game is a possibility, and Ben's #7 ranking reflects that, but until such a time comes that evidence is available that the big center is responsible for driving play, and has some success at a higher level, I'll focus on his history.