A defenseman with offensive proclivities reminiscent of James Wisniewski, Martin will attract attention on draft day.
Current Team: Swift Current Broncos, WHL
Date of Birth: May 9, 1996
Place of Birth: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Weight: 185 lbs
Back to the WHL for another defenseman, Brycen Martin of the Swift Current Broncos. Another player who brings the full package of size, skating and hockey sense to the table, Martin emerged on NHL radars a year ago, with a noticeable showing in the Under-17 tournament.
Martin was largely viewed as a stay at home defenseman when he first came to the NHL, but has used his physical skills to become much more of an offensive presence. His 39 points in 78 games through the playoffs this season doubled his point output of the previous season.
Martin ranked as the #26 North American skater in the NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings, falling from a mid-term ranking #20. Part of that may be due to his rather gaudy minus-17 +/- ranking for Swift Current. While I am not a big believer in plus-minus as an individual evaluator, it can be valuable on a relative basis within the same team. Martin took the proverbial "Green Jacket"for Swift Current by a lot, suggesting that he might be prone to taking risks in the offensive end, and pay for it at the back end. Not a huge issue over the long term, as that can be coached away, but likely a factor in his ranking drop.
Martin is uniformly viewed as talented, versatile and full of hockey sense -- all necessary foundation for an early round pick. Here's an assessment of what Martin brings to the table:
Brycen is a very appealing player, because you don't often see him make mistakes. He's got very good hockey sense, he's a strong skater, and he moves the puck well. He has all the ingredients of today's NHL defensemen -- Dan Marr, NHL Central Scouting
In a draft relatively lacking in high-profile blue liners, Martin just might find himself creeping up the draft board in late June.
A Good Fit in Columbus?
Anytime you get this far down the ladder in the rankings, the difficulty in factoring what might happen increases exponentially. Assuming that the Blue Jackets keep the #16 slot, it would be difficult to see how Martin fits into the picture. There will likely be better choices on the table at that pick, and he's unlikely to fall far enough into the second round to be attainable then. Anything can happen, but it's not a high probability event.
Much depends upon what happens elsewhere in the front office. David Savard, Dalton Prout, Nikita Nikitin and Nick Schultz are all free agents. Cody Goloubef and Tim Erixon are anxiously waiting in the wings. Fedor Tyutin is the oldest regular blue-liner, and he'll only be 31 in July. Is there a need to stockpile blue-liners in this draft? Likely not.
Martin should remind Blue Jackets fans of James Wisniewski --- some very high assist totals, and perhaps a proclivity toward more risk than some can easily tolerate. Probably not Columbus-bound this year.
Martin on Video