#4 Prospect: Martin Marincin

Winter 2009: NR
Summer 2010: #9

Winter 2010: #4

Oil Change 2.0 was a very interesting episode for us draft nerds. Stu (Magnificent Bastard) MacGregor is stating a few home truths (“we need defensemen”) while the scouts are arguing their man (Tyler Pitlick) in what must be the real drama of the draft for the scouting department (with all respect to Steve Tambellini and his “well boys, did you do your homework?” appearance in episode one). In the end, both Pitlick and Marincin became Oilers, but it gives you an idea about how these men weigh bpa, organizational need and bias. It also (once again) tells us luck is a mighty sword in all things.

Before the draft, Marcincin was described as a future shutdown defender whose style compared to Ladislav Smid.

  • Redline Report: “Tall Lanky D with a huge frame to fill out. Good skating ability for his size; Pivots well and shows good agility, though he lacks balance and acceleration. Skates with head up and looking for plays – smooth puck handler with good passing touch. Reads play quickly and makes good decisions. Doesn’t force things that aren’t there. However, once he makes his outlet pass, his arms sag to his side and he’s not interested in trying anything else offensively. Lacks an aggressive mindset and rarely ventures off the blue line at offensive end. Inconsistent defensively – positioning in own zone needs improvement. Tough to beat 1-on-1 off the rush because of his mobility and long reach, but can be beaten in tight by quick, shifty forwards. Counts mostly on the pokecheck and skating ability rather than using his big body, but is improving in the physical aspect and does a good job pinning men against the wall.”
  • Bruins Draft Watch: “Defines what scouts are talking about when they say, “Good upside, but…” Has a lot of kinks to work out in his game yet. Marincin is the kind of player who polarizes opinions on him because he tends to perform in extremes. His size and mobility are what every NHL team looks for, but he’s not likely to be a player who puts up a lot of points at that level if he ever reaches it. When on top of his game, he’s involved, making the right decisions and getting the puck up the ice quickly. Given that he’s playing against men in his native Slovakia (on HC Kosice), he’ll get that chance to develop as a gangly teen. Don’t know if he did enough to crack the top-30, but will have other opportunities to sell NHL clubs on his worth.”

When dealing with defensemen, it’s important to know when they’re posting points. ALL defensemen with good boxcars will no doubt have impressive PP stats, but sometimes you come across drastic differences in PP/EV stats. Here’s Cam Fowler from last season:

  • Fowler PP 55gp, 6-31-37 (.673)
  • Fowler EV 55gp, 2-16-18 (.327)

Fowler is an unusual case in that he’s getting PP points (0-4-4) in the NHL and playing quite a bit with the man advantage. Fowler is getting 3:18 a night on the powerplay with the Ducks as a rookie. That is a rather unusual case, so when we look at the offense of a player like Marincin it’s important to separate the PP minutes to get a clearer picture about what he’s doing at even strength:

  • Marincin PP 26gp, 6-13-19 (.731)
  • Maricin EV 26gp, 3-8-11 (.423)

Fowler’s season came when he was about one year younger than Marincin is now (Fowler is just two months older than Marincin) and that this is across leagues. Still, Marincin does appear to be posting reasonable numbers at even strength. I suspect he’s a better offensive player than Ladislav Smid.

After the draft this summer, Stu MacGregor caused a bit of a stir when he said the club might put Marincin in the American Hockey League for 2009-10. He quickly backtracked and qualified it, but as things roll along it might be a good option for next season. Marincin is leading WHL defensemen in points, ranks 2nd among all rookies and he’s in the top 10 in many offensive categories. If he continues to dominate the WHL all year long, the next logical step is the AHL. I think MBS may have been right, at least about having the conversation.

Marincin scored well at the NHL combine (it’s discussed here) but his offense has some as a surprise. His numbers for team Slovakia (Men’s league) were 35gp, 2-4-6. I’m not sure how you’d project his offensive potential from a 2-4-6 season, perhaps the team’s style didn’t lend itself to the blueliners jumping into the play.

EDIT TO ADD: In the comments section below, a kind poster from Slovakia offered insight into his 2-4-6 season:

  • The reason why Marinčin´s numbers were so low last season was because he was playing in the men´s league not an U18 league. Also, he played on the Slovak National U20 team, which plays in the top men´s league here and that explains his low offensive numbers even further as the team rarely scored more than 1 or 2 goals, and putting up 6 points in 35 games as a 17 year old is very respectable, IMO actually Andrej Meszároš also had 6 points in his draft year in the very same league. The seasons before 09/10 Marinčin had always put up great offensive numbers in the junior leagues, he put up 26 points in 49 U20 league games as a 16/17 year old ad 32 in 60 U18 games as 15/16 year old.

As an aside, 7 of the Oilers picks attended the combine. I find that refreshing. No more days of typing in obscure names and hoping Mr. Google can enlighten us. Fish where the fish are, at the very top of the NHL draft rankings. Who knew?

It’s important not to lose sight of Marincin’s impressive defensive abilities. A friend of mine has seen Marincin several times this season and keeps talking about his “quick stick” coming off the rush and his positioning. It’s not as exciting as the numbers, but anyone viewing the current Oilers knows that men who can corrupt oncoming sorties will be welcome additions to Edmonton.

I chose Marincin here because the numbers–married to the defensive promise–are so good they can’t be ignored. Although much of Marincin’s offense comes from the powerplay, that’s a very typical result. His wide range of skills added to the fact that he is dominating a strong junior league put him ahead of a very impressive group of prospects that make up this year’s top 10.

MBS didn’t address the blue until the draft was almost 50 picks old and he still hit a big fly. Magnificent.

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