"Wicked shot, good passer, really nice offensive instincts. He's not afraid of contact, and wins puck battles consistently. Enormous wingspan and uses it in both zones, especially adept at holding the puck in. He needs to add 25 pounds to play at the next level. Isn't a true physical force, and doesn't tend to initiate contact, but will bump along the walls. Big feet sometimes get in the way of his stride, needs to grow his movements into his body. Needs to be more consistent in his own end, gets lost away from the net on defense. Doesn't always have his head on a swivel in his own end."
--A WHL Scout's April take on Martin Marincin
At 6'4" ~190 lbs, with a goal-scorer's shot and decent skating ability, Martin Marincin has a chance to be an impact defender in the NHL. He's raw, gangly and awkward at times so he's not, by any means, a sure thing yet, but he's got a variety of skills that make him one of the most intriguing prospects in the organization.
After an enormous 11 spot leap in our winter Top 25 Under 25, Martin Marincin falls 3 places to #11 overall. The reason for Marincin's yo-yo up and down the rankings? Bruce McCurdy. When Bruce moved Marincin up 15 spots (to #5 overall) over the winter and Jonathan moved him up 16, the two of them accounted for the majority of his 11 spot jump. This time around Bruce saw fit to drop the young defender five spots (to #10 overall), while Scott dropped him 3 places to #15.
Marincin isn't a shutdown defender or big hitter, though his hit on Jason Zucker at the World Junior Championships shows he's got a bit of a dirty side to his game:
It's his game with the puck that will propel him to the NHL. Marincin's offensive numbers in his 18-year-old season compare extremely well to other WHL defenders taken in the 2nd round over the last five years:
He's second to only Jonathon Blum in points per game and third to Blum and Ty Wishart in % of team offense. Marincin started the season on fire, and through November, his NHLE was 27, in the range of a number of forwards in the Oilers' system. But after that, his game began to fall off. The table below shows his incremental month-end NHLE as the season progressed:
Perhaps it was the schedule and tougher physical competition that did him in. Marincin played 67 games for Prince George and another 2 games for Slovakia before being suspended at the World Juniors. He also had the travel and preparation for the WJC in addition to his normal regimen. Compare that to his 17-year old season when he played only 35 games for HK Orange in the Slovak Extraliga and another 12 games internationally and the possibility that workload was a factor becomes evident. A year of experience in the WHL combined with strength and conditioning training should help Marincin deal with the workload in the coming season.
Marincin possesses enormous size and talent. His skating could use some work, but he's a high-level player who, like most defensemen, needs some time to develop. If he continues to show the offensive acumen demonstrated in Prince George, he'll be a surefire NHL player.