Martin Marincni’s smooth transition to the pro game gives Oiler fans hope for the future. (photo courtesy Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved).

The headliner for this story is the early season prominence for the former 2nd round selection.

  • Steve Tambellini in October: “His natural instincts for the game are very good … coming into the Saturday game, he was leading the American (Hockey) League in plus minus. That speaks to his hockey sense. When I look at Martin, I also see a strong ability to pass the puck. His body has to get stronger from a defensive standpoint. He’s a six-foot-four, six-foot-five kid, but is he is pretty lean (187 pounds). That said, when you watch him, he has an excellent stick for poke-checking.”

Marincin was paired with Justin Schultz early on, and that certainly contributed to his impressive debut. However, Marincin is also a smart enough player to take advantage of fast breaks and push up to the slot when opportunities arise. The young man has some on the job learning to do defensively, but there’s a fine young player emerging on the farm.

Marincin is an interesting player. Lanky (now 6.05, 196 according to ahl.com), a fine skater and a man who can surprise you with his dirty work:

Summer 2012: #4

Winter 2012: #4


  • ISS: 40
  • Redline: 50
  • Bob McKenzie: 71
  • Taken #46 in the watershed 2010 Oiler entry draft
  • Redline: 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.
  • Stu MacGregor: “We got the pick in a trade for Riley Nash and with that pick we were really hoping to get a defenceman. Our European scout Frank Musil was pushing for him. We’d seen him as a 17-year-old at the World Junior in Saskatoon. He was tall and slender and could skate well and had real good sense with the puck. A lot of the decision involved the knowledge he planned to come to North America to play junior as an 18-year-old.”


  • Boxcars: 14, 3-5-8 +6 10 pims
  • Steve Tambellini: “We’re not going to rush him because he has to mature physically … of course, Ralph (Oilers head coach Krueger) may see him and want him (immediately). All I know is I like his instincts, I like Marincin’s potential.”
  • Todd Nelson: “His body has to mature. As long as his body keeps maturing, he’ll be able to sustain the game at the NHL level. He’s rangy and green still, but there’s tremendous upside. Everybody is looking for 6-foot-5 defencemen with offensive ability. I think he has great opportunity to see games in the NHL.”

Marincin has some nice gifts, but as with all defensemen it comes down to learning curve without the puck. In OKC he’s made his share of mistakes, but we should expect that from such a young player making the leap to pro hockey. We’ll have a much better idea about Marincin at the end of this year, but the arrows are very good–much better than we should have expected based on last season.

Although Marincin is a step down from Schultz and Klefbom as a prospect, he’s certainly a quality young defender who could end up playing a prominent role on an NHL blueline. Recalling the words of Glen Sather in regard to a young Kevin Lowe: “If a guy is making the same mistakes over and over again, you’ve got to be concerned. But if he’s learning then you’ve got to be patient.”

#4 ranked prospects on December lists:
  • December 2004: D Jeff Woywitka
  • December 2005: L Jean-Francois Jacuqes
  • December 2006: C Andrew Cogliano
  • December 2007: D Taylor Chorney
  • December 2008: C Rob Schremp
  • December 2009: C Chris VandeVelde
  • December 2010: D Martin Marincin
  • December 2011: L Teemu Hartikainen
  • December 2012: D Martin Marincin

History tells us that if you’re waiting on three prospect defensemen count on at least one falling away and another not reaching his potential. The Oilers are flush with prospects now–Justin Schultz is at the head of the class and looks like a lock–and the club has some nice blue behind him. I’m not certain where he would slot into the depth chart as a mature player–a guess would be that Marincin would rank behind Smid, Petry, J Schultz and Klefbom–but the answers are out there and time plus circumstance will tell us the story.

I think the best thing for him is one full season in OKC, more if required. When the GM and coach stop saying he needs to add strength, then bring him up and see how he handles NHL sorties. There should be no hurry with this player despite holes in the depth chart.

Martin Marincin is not a sure thing, but his OKC results are  very encouraging.

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17 Responses to "#4 PROSPECT (winter 2012): MARTIN MARINCIN"

  1. OilTastic says:

    pleeeese Martin, keep working hard in the “A” and make it to the NHL. Oilers need you. it was a gutsy move at the time to take him, but what a huge payoff the Oilers could end up with. i remember going “who?” when they took him….now i know who, and i am pleased with what i see.

  2. gcw_rocks says:

    I like this kid’s chances. He seems to be putting on weight, which is good. He also seems to be avoiding serious injury (knocks on wood) which could push him past Klefbom. He needs this season and likely part or most of next season in the AHL to work out the rough edges, but I think he is going to be a very good d-man when he makes the NHL, and will anchor the second pairing for years if the Oilers so-called braintrust don’t trade him first.

  3. striatic says:

    up arrows, to be sure, but this kid has a LONG way to go.

    anticipate at least 2 more seasons before he can contribute at an NHL level.

  4. Benhur says:

    I don’t understand your love affair with Klefbom. He has not shown much, he is injury prone and he’s playing in a weaker league than the AHL (maybe not weaker but definitley a different style of hockey). He does not have much offensive upside as far as I can see. Schultz and Marincin both have more offense but may be weaker…at this point in their defensive coverage but will improve.
    Look at Paarvii & Lander ….there hype has not translated to the NA game and I don’t expect Klefbom to be much of an addition either.
    My opinion anyways….now I’ll shut my yap!

  5. Bar_Qu says:

    I like this kid’s chances.He seems to be putting on weight, which is good.He also seems to be avoiding serious injury (knocks on wood) which could push him past Klefbom.He needs this season and likely part or most of next season in the AHL to work out the rough edges, but I think he is going to be a very good d-man when he makes the NHL, and will anchor the second pairing for years if the Oilers so-called braintrust don’t trade him first.

    X2 on the wood knocking.

    In fact, I feel that every time we speak of defenders for this team, we should omit their name and possibly the name of the team they are playing for. Perhaps insert hyphens equivalent to the letters of their name.

    I am not a superstitious man, but in the case of this team and weird, season-ending injuries, there must be an element of jinx going on. Call it the curse of Ulanov or Comrie’s revenge, but it is weird and feels real.

    Go M——-! Fill out and prosper.

  6. oilers89 says:


    IMO the SEL is a tougher league for dmen than the AHL. It seems like often times swedish forwards will come from there and struggle where as the dmen tend to come over looking good. I’m guessing it is because the ice surface is bigger so it makes defending tougher.

  7. FrankenOil says:

    Off topic a little (ok, completely), but stuck at work and I want to catch the American turkey day NFL games. Anyone have a good link or site to check out for links?

  8. Gi JQE says:


    I actually agree. I am confused by the fetish many have with KLEFBLOM. He hasn’t been able to put up any offense in europe. Is he doing something amazing that I am unaware of? He seems to just keep getting injured and other than the draft selection I dont see how he is perceived so highly.
    but like I said. I am likely just missing something?

  9. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    Brodin was a teammate of Klefbom last year and is recognized across the league as a very highly touted D prospect. He was expected to make an impact in Minni this year. From mid-season forward last year the commentary from Klefbom’s team was that Klefbom matured rapidly and was consistently outplaying Brodin and carrying the team. The same commentary continued this year and I believe he was leading the league in +/- at some point despite his age. While he hasn’t put up offence, that isn’t his biggest hurdle right now and his scouting report points to him having some skill in the future to develop there – so it could be improved, but lots of time for that.

  10. Lowetide says:

    In regard to Klefbom v Marincin: these rankings are mine alone and certainly everyone is entitled to their opinions. My assessment of Klefbom is that he is a “defense first” shutdown type, so the offense is always going to lag behind the more offensive types.

    Marincin has those offensive abilities, but I don’t think they’re elite–certainly not above what Justin Schultz appears to be at this point. So, Klefbom’s defensive skills versus Marincin’s offense and I come out with Klefbom the clear winner–and he does have some ability to move the puck, too (although he is extremely unlikely to be a PP factor).

    An independent look at the Oilers top talents is here, and would seem to agree with me:


  11. jp says:

    Gi JQE:

    I actually agree. I am confused by the fetish many have with KLEFBLOM.He hasn’t been able to put up any offense in europe. Is he doing something amazing that I am unaware of? He seems to just keep getting injured and other than the draft selection I dont see how he is perceived so highly.
    but like I said. I am likely just missing something?

    His boxcars don’t show it, but every pre- and post-draft scouting report suggests he’s a good puck mover, and he was initially being called an offensive defenseman. While that may have been a bit of an overstatement, he’s got some skill in that area.

    He’s also got good size and strength and has apparently become a solid shutdown defenseman in the SEL. And he had a great WJr tourney last year where he played the shutdown role, moved the puck well, and was a tournament 1st all star.

    For some perspective, his numbers before injury this year were 11-0-3-3 +7 2PIM. I think he was leading the SEL in +/- at the time of the injury as till_horcoff mentions. Projected over a full season that’s 55-0-15-15. Looks pretty crappy, but D-men don’t generally score much in the SEL. 11-12′s top scoring D went 55-9-25-34, and 15 pts from Kelfbom would have put him #22 in the league. Some offense together with strong defensive play – he looks like a great prospect.

  12. wuthering says:

    Just got back from OKC the other day. Watched both of the Barons games and Marincin has got lots of upside. His defensive game still has lots of chaos however. Also, he’s still very thin, so he relies on separating the puck without using his body. It’s hard to picture how well he would do against NHL forwards. That said, he’s got a good shot, and is a very good skater. On the second line PP unit he was the one playing rover in Ozone while the play was in the Baron’s end (not sure if you could tell from the AHL feeds). A nice prospect for sure.

  13. spoiler says:

    Klefbom has also done very well playing against his peers at the Tournament of Small Sample sizes, basically out-playing every single dman in his cadre. Unfortunately we haven’t seen much of Marincin there.

    I have no probs with Klefbom being ranked ahead of Marincin, but can see the case the other way too. Personally I think Marincin is a little more raw at this point in his development though.

  14. TheseColoursDontRun says:

    Riley Nash 16 3 6 9 +6
    Martin Marincin 14 3 5 8 +6

    That trade looks better everyday. Stu was on fire that draft. In other news is anyone else watching The Godfather marathon on AMC?

  15. fuzzy muppet says:


    check atdhenet.tv

  16. PaperDesigner says:

    Marincin’s season has been somewhat overshadowed by the ridiculous totals of Schultz and the NHL kids tearing it up, but I don’t think he has been playing on the first unit power play, and considering the strength of the league, and that he’s been on the top pairing with Schultz, he has done very well in trying circumstances. Sounds like he still needs to mature, but his transition to pro is extremely encouraging.

  17. VOR says:

    I’d give Klefbom the nod. That is because he is a Corey Pronman put it, “an above average skater, who flashes plus”. He already has an NHL body and is getting stronger and heavier all the time. We saw what that skating ability allowed him to do at the WJC. What we didn’t see is that apparently in the SEL he likes the big open ice hit and to battle in the corner. In other words Klefbom is “toolsy” as all get out.

    The big complaint is about his ability to think the game at an elite level.

    Marincin on the other hand is a project. He has some of the tools but not the physical strength yet. He can skate reasonably well but lacks balance. He thinks the game well on offense but sometimes not so well on defence.

    Both kids have tremendous upside but Klefblom, until the injury appeared to be much closer to NHL ready.

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