The 2010 NHL entry draft was the first time Edmonton had selected #1 overall, and Taylor Hall is a cornerstone of the franchise today. The same weekend, Edmonton enjoyed 5 more picks in the top 100. We talked about Martin Marincin’s progress on Friday, and tonight we look at Ryan Martindale.
In the Harvest Moon post on the evening of the draft’s closing, I wrote the following on the big center.
- #61 overall C Ryan Martindale: Tall C with speed, Redline (at the top prospects game to scout this year’s talent) said: Until he rang a quick release snap shot off the crossbar in the third period, you could have told us he wasn’t dressed at all. ISS61, Bob Mckenzie #58 so it would seem to be a saw-off in terms of value. Tambellini says his inconsistency may come from growing into his body (6.02) and made it clear they were looking to increase size and C (and D) at this draft). MBS likes his talent but wants him to “be there” every night.
Ryan Martindale has not ‘been there’ every night. In fact, he’s been in Stockton (69 games) more often than OKC (33 games) since turning pro. It is difficult to know why he didn’t get a push (Martindale has looked good in pretty much every practice and exhibition game he’s played in the Edmonton area) but it quickly became obvious he was a “B” candidate for the Oilers.
A funny thing happened on the way to Rexall. Ryan Martindale emerged this season (in the last 10 games) as a legit option for employment in the AHL and (possibly) beyond.
- 2011-12 and 2012-13: 23, 0-5-5 E
- Since January 1: 10, 3-3-6 E
- Total 33, 3-8-11 E
It was a long time coming for Martindale’s first AHL goal:
- Martindale: “It was awesome, whatever you can do to help the team win. Everyone has been getting a lot of chances. It’s nice to get one at the end and get a nice bounce.”
- Todd Nelson: “This is a big confidence boost for Marty. Hopefully he can keep rising. The last couple of games he’s played really well for us. For the second straight game, a textbook Tyler Pitlick corner pass produced a highlight-reel goal. Pitlick set up Byers for his third goal of the season with 7:08 left in the first period. It was great effort by Marty on the forecheck to get the turnover and then Pitter found Byers back door. It was just a good hockey goal.Marty also had a chance in the first period and didn’t shoot. We talked about it: ‘Marty, you can beat this guy. You have a good enough shot.’ He got the opportunity again late and it went in.”
I ranked Martindale #28 on the winter top 20 (I guess that tells you something, he was #28 in the top 20) and suggested the following:
- #28 C Ryan Martindale 6, 0-3-3 +2 (AHL) and a guy who started well and then hasn’t played in forever. I don’t really know what’s going on with this player, but if he disappears for much longer it won’t matter. Is he skilled enough? He looks good in flashes, but the knee sprain hasn’t allowed him back into the lineup. I think he may end up being an “it’s always something” kind of player in the tradition of Eddie Caron.
Right now, the arrows are pointed in a very good direction. He’s certainly moving up the charts and would be safely inside the top 20 if this were summertime. A strong finish gets him in the conversation. We wait.