Our roster player preview posts kick off today with a newly-acquired Leaf that I’m personally very excited about. The Leafs got him for a small price, but he could end up playing a very important and effective role for the team this season and beyond. Read past the jump to find out all about why I’m such a big fan of new Toronto blueliner Martin Marincin.
Marincin is young, but he’s also still old enough
to hail from the country that was once Czechoslovakia (now that the two
countries are separated, Marincin represents Slovakia internationally). He came
over to North America in 2010, playing for Prince George and Regina in
the Western Hockey League before eventually graduating to Oklahoma City
in the AHL as a second-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers. He’s since
gone on to play 85 NHL games, and will look to solidify himself as a
big-league regular on the Toronto defense this season.
The numbers are a big part of why I love Martin Marincin. He may not stand out to you to much based on the above table, but take some of his underlying numbers into consideration:
As we can see here, Marincin is a very good puck possession player. His production rates aren’t good, but perhaps he can be best-classified as a new-age defensive defenseman, who doesn’t put up gaudy numbers, but keeps the play out of his own team’s end.
via Behind The Net
The above picture shows the relative quality of competition that Edmonton defensemen faced last year. This is another reason I like Maricin. As we can see, he played the second-toughest minutes on the Oilers blueline last season. So even as a very young player, he’s earned the trust of his coaches to take on the tough assignments. So, another indication that he’s pretty good defensively.
As we can see here, Marincin’s shot-based metrics are also pretty good:
Marincin’s 1.75 shots per game with OKC this season would put him ahead of any Marlies defenseman 25 or younger.
— Shawn Reis (@ShawnReis) June 27, 2015
Another reason to like Marincin is his strong PCS% numbers. He had a 43.18 PCS% after his first WHL season, meaning even from a young age his levels of production have compared favorably with a number of present and past NHL regulars. That’ll happen when you’re both 6″4′ and put up good numbers in junior and in the AHL. The PCS tool continues to like Marincin, and he’s inching closer and closer to reaching his projected floor of 200 NHL games played.
I also like Marincin because he’s already played 85 games in the NHL, all while still only 23 years of age. He had also already played 44 NHL games at age 22, within just four years of being drafted. Most top-six forwards and top-four defensemen in the NHL make the big leagues within four years of being drafted.
But most importantly…
Hockey’s Future even thinks Marincin is more than likely to develop into a second-pairing defenseman in the NHL. You can’t make this stuff up folks.
Admittedly I’ve never really seen Marincin play. In the Oilers games I have seen with him in the lineup, I wasn’t paying much attention to him. I can’t give you much of a scouting report at all on him. What I can tell you, though, is I’m pretty sure he’s going to be a top-four defenseman for the Leafs at some point in his career. His numbers are just that good. Maybe it’ll be this year, maybe it’ll be a year or two later. But the numbers so overwhelmingly like Marincin that I’m inclined to give them my full trust on this one – Marincin is going to be good.
That’s even better when you consider how the Leafs got him. All the Leafs gave up for him was a 4th-round pick and at-the-time prospect Brad Ross (Ross has since gone overseas to Germany). That’s it. They traded a 4th-rounder and someone who basically amounts to a nothing prospect in exchange for someone who is probably going to be a very important and effective piece for this team moving forward. This less than 24 hours after the Oilers traded a first- and second-rounder to the New York Islanders in exchange for Griffin Reinhart, who seems to play a similar style to Marincin, only unlike Marincin, the numbers don’t like Reinhart at all and seem to suggest he’s unlikely to become much of anything in the NHL. Not a very pretty sequence of events for Edmonton.
- 2x participant in the World Under-18s for Team Slovakia (2009, 2010)
- 3x participant in the World Under-20s for Team Slovakia (2010, 2011, 2012)
- 2014 Winter Olympian (Slovakia)
- 2014 World Championships (Slovakia)