2015 NHL Draft Prospect Profile #5 - Mitch Marner
Our next Prospect Profile looks at one of the hottest scorers in the OHL that isn't named McDavid.
Current Team: London Knights (OHL)
Date of Birth: May 5th, 1997
Birthplace: Markham, Ontario
You're going to hear this a lot, but Marner is a player who has gone under a lot of people's radar because of the focus on Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, and that seems to be driving him a little bit.
Marner isn't a big guy, but he's willing to do whatever is necessary to make a play happen, and has the skating and hands to rush up ice and fill the back of the net the moment he catches the other team making a mistake. Playing for a team in the OHL with a history of developing top end offensive talent, there's every reason to think that Marner will be making a big impact when he reaches the NHL.
A highly skilled and intuitive offensive player whose game reading ability is off the charts - able to dance all over the ice and make plays both forward and backhand .. attacks the middle of the ice and is not afraid to go into danger zones .. deploys a hair-trigger release and finding optimum scoring chances .. elusive in his approach as he spins off guys and simply anticipates the game better than his peers.
Marner is a supremely talented offensive player, who probably would have won the OHL scoring title if he played all 68 games. Marner finished second overall with 44 goals and 82 assists for 126 points in 63 games.
The knock on Marner is his size, at 5'11" he lacks the ideal size the other centers in the draft possess, but since he was drafted into the OHL he has gained an additional 5 inches and 30 pounds suggesting he may not be done growing.
A Good Fit In Columbus?
You can never have too many top D-men, and you can never have too many playmaking centers. There's no doubt that Marner has the talent to be a big impact player - the only question is his size. Since he seems to be a little bit of a late bloomer, there's a good chance he's going to have an NHL level body to go with his NHL level brains pretty quickly. I would love to see him slotting into the team's depth chart as a future #2 C, maybe even a potential #1, but the organization has greater needs. I don't imagine trading up is in their plans, and too many teams picking ahead of Columbus need top end forwards. I'd expect to see him pulling on a Leafs or Devils jersey not long after his name is called.
Marner in Action