John Marino is a smooth-skating defender who is miles away from the NHL. In choosing him for the final spot on the top 20, I have passed on slower skaters, small skill forwards, bigger men who lack skill (or haven’t proven they can deliver consistently) and the rest of the goalies. The needle in a haystack landed on Marino because the things he needs to do are possible and his foot speed should get him several chances.
Oilers pick John Marino knows Edmonton a bit; he said he played in the Brick tournament as a kid
— Ryan Kennedy (@THNRyanKennedy) June 27, 2015
PREVIOUSLY NO. 20 ON THE WINTER LIST
- December 2004: C Mike Bishai (14) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
- December 2005: L Geoff Paukovich (0) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
- December 2006: D Cody Wild (0) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
- December 2007: C Ryan O’Marra (33) (Trade. GM: Kevin Lowe)
- December 2008: C Milan Kytnar (1) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
- December 2009: L Slava Trukhno (0) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
- December 2010: G Tyler Bunz (0) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
- December 2011: C Ryan Martindale (0) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
- December 2012: L Daniil Zharkov (0) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
- December 2013: R Jackson Houck (0) (GM: Craig MacTavish)
- December 2014: D Brad Hunt (14) (FA Signing. GM: Craig MacTavish)
At number 20, we have exactly what one might expect: A picture of what is beyond the last chance Texaco. None of the men listed here had a real NHL career.
WHAT THEY SAID ON DRAFT DAY
- The Scouting Report: John is a smooth skating offensive defenseman…Good size…Is a play making defensenman…Has great poise with the puck…Has the ability to run our powerplay.
- The Black Book: He’s a strong, smooth skater with good lateral movement and ability to rush the puck up ice. His gap control is underrated and he has a very good stick. He’s a possession defender than can carry the puck, hold on to it and keep opposing forwards to the perimeter.
- ISS: Good two-way defender who shows upside in all situations and a work ethic to improve his game.
- Future Consderations: Marino is a mobile, offensive-minded defenseman. In any of the three zones, he loves the puck on his stick. In his own zone, he likes to rush the puck and while he moves well, he is more effective passing the puck up the ice as he sees the ice well and hits his teammates in stride.
- John Marino: “I talked to them a little, so I had a good idea that they might be interested. They were one of the teams that I talked to most often, too.” Source
- Jeff Cox: Some have questioned his play in the defensive zone, but he’s gotten much better at coverage in his own zone and has a good stick. He doesn’t have the biggest frame, and could definitely stand to put on some added weight, but he does a nice job of containment and maximizes his physical tools. Pound-for-pound, he’s as solid as they come. Source
PREVIOUS TOP 20 RANKING
- Summer 2015: No. 28
- Winter 2015: No. 20
Bunch of Edmonton scouts/execs here at WJAC. Oilers pick John Marino playing for USA tonight (plus some nice 2016 prospects too)
— Ryan Kennedy (@THNRyanKennedy) December 15, 2015
- John Marino: “I’d say I’m quick at transitions, — going from backwards to forwards — going to get the puck in the corners, (bringing a) higher intensity for sure, and (making) quicker decisions overall.” Source
- Lowetide: Showed some nice flashes offensively, good speed and a nice shot. Got involved physically, too. You could see his age being a slight issue, but overall a nice job. Sourc
- According to TSN’s Scott Cullen, there is a 16 percent chance Marino will play 100 NHL games and a four percent chance he will emerge as a top 4D. Source
- John Marino: “The season’s been good so far. It’s going pretty well. We were off to a hot start. We’ve kind of trailed off a little bit, but I don’t think that’s going to be an issue.” Source
- The Hockey News: Has a projectable frame, an excellent skating stride and above-average puck skills. Should eventually play at well over 200 pounds at the professional level when he finishes filling out. His right-handedness adds more value. Source
— Tri-City Storm (@TriCityStorm) September 28, 2015
It is important to keep in mind that Marino—despite being chosen in the sixth round—has an impressive resume and was selected in a deep draft. When I saw him at the orientation camp, the thing that kept shining through was his skating ability. We are many miles away, but he is 18, heading to a good program (Harvard) and his USHL numbers (22gp, 1-11-12) compare favorably to William Lagesson (52gp, 2-14-16) and Jeff Petry (48gp, 1-14-15) at the same age (era bias alert on Petry). We are talking about a long shot, but unlike the men we will discuss tomorrow (I will have 21-30 up at noon and 31-40 at 5pm) he has the tools we associate with future success and the intelligence to learn the things that will take him to the NHL.
THE 2015 DRAFT
- Connor McDavid, No. 1 overall. Incredible talent took about four games to kick out the jams. He is still recovering from injury, Oilers fans will receive a second Christmas day when he returns. No. 1 prospect, Winter 2015.
- D Caleb Jones, No. 117 overall. The smooth skating defender has been a revelation, displaying a nice range of skills in his early WHL career. No. 13 prospect, Winter 2015.
- D Ethan Bear, No. 124 overall. Surprised he fell as he did in this year’s draft (Button had him third round, I had him second). Either way, he’s an Oilers prospect and things are progressing very well. No. 9 prospect, Winter 2015.
- D John Marino, No. 154 overall. Mobile offensive defender had an immediate impact with Tri-City Storm of the USHL. No. 20 prospect, Winter 2015.
- G Miroslav Svoboda, No. 208 overall. Struggled in the Cze-2 league early but recent efforts have been very strong. A trade in-season seems to have helped him.
- D Ziyat Paigin, No. 209 overall. A transfer to Sochi unlocked this player and he has been playing a feature role. One of several defensive picks from this draft who are tracking very well. No. 15 prospect, Winter 2015.