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Martin Marincin: Rail Thin But Huge For The Oil

March 26, 2014, 5:39 PM ET [414 Comments]
Matt Henderson
Edmonton Oilers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
In a season with so few silver linings Oiler fans have been treated to a spectacular NHL debut by Martin Marincin. The rookie Defender hasn’t put up gaudy offensive numbers but he has been terrific from a possession perspective and appears to be getting more and more comfortable. He started briefly on the 3rd pairing but quickly found himself partnered with Petry and has since moved up one more time to the top pairing with Justin Schultz. All this in a year that began in the American Hockey League.

Marincin leads all Oiler Defensemen in Corsi Percentage, which by now I hope you recognize is important in terms of assessing his contributions to possession. When Marincin is on the ice at Even Strength the team creates 18.4 Shot Attempts per 20 Mins. That is number one by a wide margin. Going the other way the Oilers only give up 18.8 Shot Attempts per 20 Mins with the young Slovak patrolling the blue, and that again leads the team.

Take also into consideration that he and Petry have the two toughest zone starts for the entire Defense as well and his accomplishments possession-wise become even more so impressive. This is a young man all but thrown to the wolves on this squad and he’s coming out ahead.

There’s plenty of reason to be excited about where Marincin can take his game in the future as well. He was an Offensive Defenseman in the WHL who was known as a bit of a riverboat gambler. We’ve only seen flashes of that offensive instinct in the NHL but bubbling under it is there. His traditional boxcars are relatively unimpressive right now (0 Goals, 3 Assists) but with more confidence we have seen him take more chances in the offensive zone and be unafraid to use his shot.

In addition to his offensive potential, we are also waiting on his Physical potential. At 6’4” and 188 pounds there is a lot of filling out young Marincin can do. His General Manager has said before that he’s seen bigger arms on a pair of sunglasses. It’s important that he doesn’t just put on a bunch of mass and he loses his foot-speed, but if he can gain a healthy 15+ pounds and some man strength then there’s a lot to be excited about with Marty.

I wanted to find a comparison for Marincin’s season within the last 20 years in the NHL so I did a search for Rookie Defensemen no older than 23 who have played between 30 and 50 games, have a +/- of 0 or higher, and put up fewer than 10 points. This is the table I ended up with.

There are a lot of interesting names of players who have had comparable seasons. From Girardi, McDonagh, Gonchar, Ference, and Hickey there is a huge mix of player-types. Some of these guys are stay at home stalwarts and others become quality offensive players in their own right. I wouldn’t be upset if Marincin’s development matched the most recent comparable of Thomas Hickey but I would be tickled pink if he turned into a McDonagh.

Marincin appears to be listed at number 11 on that list when it’s sorted by Time On Ice, but that’s just his raw number, it doesn’t represent Time On Ice per Game. This is important because it really lets us know how much the coach trusted this player. NHL coaches show their love in 1 main way and that’s ice time. With the exception of the 3 players whose ice time was unavailable it’s easy to reconcile ice time per game since we have the raw numbers and games played.

When we re-sort the group by TOI/G Martin Marincin reaches #2 on the list, at 18.6 minutes per game played. He is only behind Ryan McDonagh in terms of how much ice time his coach trusts him with per game out of his group of comparables.

All told the Oilers may have found a gem with Marty Marincin, and I’m excited about his future.

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