#7 Prospect: Martin Gernat

Martin Gernat moves up this list based on an exceptional WHL debut and a scouting report that suggests he has a wide range of skills. Martin Gernat could be a draft bargain we talk about forever.

  • Winter 2011: #7
  • Summer 2011: #19

The legend of Martin Gernat began right after the 2011 draft’s second day. The Oilers included a major item in their talking points: they had Gernat in their top 35 overall for the 2011 draft. We know scouting departments are prone to hyperbole, but the Oilers brass stood by the statement after taking him in the 5th round (#122 overall) in June.

Redline scout Radim Jelinek: Gernat is a smooth skater with fluid stride and decent footwork for his size. Has very good vision and hands, moves the puck well, handles the puck with confidence making solid decision with puck. Likes to join the rush regularly and shows good instinct in sliding from the point into scoring positions. Just started developing physical play in his game, still very inconsistent using his body, needs to play aggressive, physical game all the time. When he uses it then he is tough to beat 1 on 1, angles forwards to the outside, tights forward up at the boards, hits hard. Lacks strength right now and still growing but has frame to fill it out. D-Zone  coverage is still very average, needs to read the play better defensively, improve positional play and play much tighter game. Very raw but I like his progress throughout the season and see some similar things in his game as in Martin Marincin´s. He is far from him as Marincin was first rounder in my eyes while Gernat is later-round pick but upside is there.

Kirk Luedeke: Slovakia’s best defender has excellent size (6-5) and good mobility for such a big kid. He’s fluid in his movements and still a little gangly, but had a couple of memorable plays where he jumped in from the point to get a good shot off, but was denied by Gibson. He was burned on a couple of missed coverages, but overall, was one of Slovakia’s better players in a thrashing. Lack of physical play and strength is his biggest shortcoming right now, but he has the kind of projectable upside that makes him a solid sleeper for the 2011 draft.

Stu MacGregor: Watched Gernat a lot. He’s a big guy, skates extremely well, 6’4″, still quite
slim, passes the puck very well. Really quite excited about what he might be able to bring.

Gernat has a wide range of skills. He boasts size, skating, skill, passing and a good shot among them, plus he’s a physical defender when required (took a fairly brutal checking from behind penalty Thursday night). He’s a “rangy” defender from the Dale Rolfe-Jacques Laperriere family tree and plays with confidence.

His monthly splits are worth talking about.

  • September: 3, 3-3-6 +3
  • October: 12, 3-9-12 +5
  • November: 11, 0-4-4 +7
  • December: 1, 0-2-2 +3
  • Overall: 27, 6-18-24 +18
  • PP: 27, 2-7-9
  • PK, 27, 0-0-0
  • EV, 27, 4-11-15

Gernat is tied for 6th in rookie scoring, tied for 5th in scoring among defenders. His downturn in November owed to returning soldiers and less time on special teams, but he’s been a member of the top 2 pairings for the entire season.

Since this is a somewhat unusual choice at #7, I felt it might be an idea to give my reasons for it. My top 20 holds “wide range of skills” as the most valuable of all traits among prospects. Gernat isn’t reliant on offensive numbers for this ranking, and he can play defense in a very good junior league–maybe the best one.

Gernat’s size (6.05, 191) and speed make him a very interesting defensive prospect. That kind of resume alone could mean a Matt Greene career for this young man. However, I think there’s more to his game, enough offense and defense to play some special teams minutes and play what the kids today call “top 4″ minutes at the highest levels. I watched him closely this past Thursday night and he’s effective without the puck, very long player and strong for his age.

Gernat is not the most certain prospect left on the list, but he has more potential than the 2-way AHL forwards (Pitlick, Hamilton), the other WHL defenseman likely to play in the NHL (Musil) and the tall tree in OKC.

I had to establish in my own mind that Gernat’s potential made him enough of a prospect to leap the young men listed above. I’m satisifed he’s bona fide.

Martin Gernat is a quality NHL prospect. The rest is up to the Hockey Gods. Godspeed young man. We need you yesterday.

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35 Responses to "#7 Prospect: Martin Gernat"

  1. HBomb says:

    Testing, testing….is this thing on?

  2. FPB94 says:

    Fancy. I’d be more excited with Gernat, if Marincin hadn’t taken a dip after his great debut.

  3. Lowetide says:

    One of the differences in Gernat is he’s not quite the stringbean Marincin is/was. Gernat is tall and thin, but you can see he’s going to fill out. The pencil is a bit of a freak.

  4. ItsTheBGB says:

    I was at the Thursday game too! Although the drinks were my main priority, I love watching this kid play. Same with Reinhart, the both of them are very entertaining. I think I like Gernat more than Marincin.

  5. Lowetide says:

    I tried to watch Gernat closely, and what I noticed is how smooth he is. Nice stride, never seemed to be too far from his mark and the rangy factor (I can’t think of another word, sorry) allows him to do that flicky thing where a an offensive foray can be ended in a heartbeat.

    He’s definitely a more appealing LOOKING prospect than some of the others. We’ll see what happens, but he’s a fine young prospect.

  6. blackdog says:

    Jesus this place is tighter than Fort Knox. Or that virgin whose first kiss looked like a god gnawing on a pork chop.

    I don’t know LT, mindless anonymous comments without fear of repercussion are part of the lifeblood of the Internet. You’re bucking a trend here. ;)

    Love this series but where the hell is Petry damnit!

    This kid is intriguing. Many of these low round guys aren’t going to make it but the fact that so many of them remain in the conversation is a great sign.

  7. Lowetide says:

    BD: Yeah, the signing up part is a beast. I expect many won’t come over, but honestly I’m looking forward to the day when I don’t come home from work and have to delete 20 “you fucking idiot” posts. :-)

    The thing about Gernat is that he is NOT the featured defender on the Oil Kings but has managed to play a regular shift despite impressive depth (Pysyk, Lowe, Reinhart, Corbett).

  8. FPB94 says:

    LT: Well we can’t all be Jim Zorns =P

  9. jonrmcleod says:

    Why didn’t the Oilers pick him right after Musil? Or do they claim the picks between were great bargains as well?

  10. Lowetide says:

    John: I posted fhis on the following thread.

    Jonathan: I think it has to do with the fact that Gernat hadn’t been scouted heavily by other teams.

    We all knew about RNH, Klefbom and Musil. However, the Oilers spent a fairly high pick on an unknown to us (Perhonen at 62) non draftniks.

    THEN they took Ewanyk, Simpson and Reider in rounds three four and five. The Pittsburgh pick (the Garon trade) went to Reider, he’s the last guy from the famous leagues before Gernat.

    I think it’s reasonable to believe they thought he’d slide. Of course they thought the same thing about Tomas Kaberle too.

  11. jonrmcleod says:

    Sorry about posting on both blogs. I thought after I was the first (and only for a while) to make a comment on the other blog that it was no longer in operation.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Jon: No worries. I’ll keep both going for the time being. I’m hoping we get most people signing up, and we all start new at this blog. So, come one and all, but please bring your good behaviour. That doesn’t mean you can’t swear, but personal attacks and trolling won’t be tolerated.

    I think we’re all adult enough to know what that means. The best part of the blog is the comments, I’m hoping the new deal will improve things.

  13. Jonathan Willis says:

    I’m just wondering now whether Pat’s slip above was intentional. I think he meant “dog gnawing on a pork chop,” but depending how old he was at the time he might have found that virgin positively god-like.

  14. Jonathan Willis says:

    This is the second big defenseman that Oilers have snagged out of the Slovakian U20 league in the last couple of years. Seems to be a favoured fishing hole.

  15. Lowetide says:

    JW: Yeah. I wonder if they got a tip on this kid through connections? That’s how Detroit build their team, fricking Swedish fisherman.

  16. regwald says:

    If the registration keeps the odd troll off the comments page, that’s fine by me.

    I noticed some of the main text has strange line breaks.

    The thing about Gernat that I like is he seems to be a pretty smooth skater given his size. I saw part of a game on TV and was impressed with his skating range. Seemed to glide out there from my view.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Regwald: Probably me being lazy. I copied and pasted the scoutng reports and thought everything was fixed. How does it look now? (wait three minutes).

  18. regwald says:

    @LT, yup. All cleared up.

  19. El Duderino says:

    Testing

  20. regwald says:

    Here’s something interesting about that big +/- number.

    Gernat leads the team with +18. The group of D is posting some pretty amazing numbers.

    Gernat +18
    Corbet +11
    Reinhart +9
    Dech +8
    Sautner +6
    Pysyk +5
    Lowe +3
    Geersten +1

    With Corbet only playing 13 games and Geersten only 19. All other dmen are over 20 games. Oil Kings have played 28 games. So, a combined +61.

    The team as a whole is a combined +146. The only minus players are Jordan Peddle who came over in a trade from Swift Current. He is -4 with OK but was -5 from the Broncs. Tyler Maxwell was -5 in Everett and is +8 on the OK. I removed both their minus numbers from their previous clubs to reflect the team total.

    The team is +32 on the goal differential (104/72). Kootenay leads WHL with 64 GA, OK 72, Tri-City with 73, Spokane with 77. And to think this is with Pysyk and Reinhart having missed games due to injury.

    I think we are looking at Gernat being an important contributor on a solid OK team. If the scoring can continue to come, I am excited about the playoff run for this team.

  21. The Neighbour Of The Beast says:

    Great site LT – really appreciate your contribution to the sports scene in this city.

    Slightly OT, but there is an interesting three part story on Derek Boogard and the life of NHL enforcer on the NY Times site:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/sports/hockey/derek-boogaard-a-boy-learns-to-brawl.html?hp

  22. blackdog says:

    lol JW I was wondering what the hell you meant and just read that.

    god gnawing on a pork chop

    I’m patenting that right now, that will be my next blog

  23. blackdog says:

    btw Regwald or whomever how do you get the pic on there? Totally inept technically so please dumb it down.

    I mean really really dumb!’

    Thanks

  24. Lowetide says:

    I cannot wait for Pat’s story behind “God gnawing on a pork chop.”

  25. regwald says:

    Blackdog,
    It was a strange stroke of luck because I noticed that my login picture was Sully (from 2 yrs ago on OilersNation) when I picked POS as my Star. Really should have been a goat. I used the same id on that site. It has a link to gravatar.com on Oilersnation that creates the Avatar. So, I went to my account settings to change it.

    Hope that helps. I couldn’t figure it out from the WordPress site.

  26. Lewko says:

    Hey Lowetide long time reader and figured I would sign up for the new website. Its pretty slick and I’m all for you getting more recognition for the great work you do. I enjoy the top prospect series and since you talk about Gernat as possible top 4 Dman and he slides in @ #7 my question is wha is Lander’s upside? Can he become another Horcoff type or is that too high? Just curious as to what you think his max upside.

    Cheers.

  27. Lowetide says:

    I think Horcoff would be the outer marker and that can’t be something we can count on. I like Lander that much because his scouting reports were SO over the top about PK ability and overall quality of play. His offense isn’t his strong point, but he should be able to score enough (eventually) to play some important minutes for the Oil.

  28. regwald says:

    so, it’s like that Flames won the Stanley last night and tonight they are getting spanked by the Dys. 4-1 in the third. Oilers, Oilers, Oilers. You can’t keep wasting points to teams like the Flames. It will haunt you in March.

  29. Lowetide says:

    Gernat didn’t play tonight, he’s injured. Lordy.

  30. regwald says:

    You don’t have a typewriter curse do you LT ?

  31. Lowetide says:

    I’m beginning to wonder. Hartikainen and now Gernat and we’re not even at 10 yet.

  32. regwald says:

    Do we need to sacrifice a Flames fan or Dys fan or someone from Oiler mgmt ? This has to stop ! Poor Klefbom hasn’t been the same since you put his name up in lights on the top of your blog.

  33. Lowetide says:

    Geez, that’s right. So:

    #1 RNH-okay so far
    #2 Lander ok so far
    #3 Klefbom hurt but is back and made the SWE WJC roster
    #4 Hartiakinen shoulder bad
    #5 Marincin healthy
    #6 Bunz puck in the head at Subway series
    #7 Gernat didn’t play tonight
    #8 Hamilton fine

  34. regwald says:

    Lander – hand infection. Missed last 3 games. :o(

  35. Lowetide says:

    Right! Dammit!

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