Jun 30, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; A general view of the stage between picks during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Draft Profile: Brycen Martin

Name: Brycen Martin

Position: Defense

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 185 lbs.

2013-14 Team: Swift Current Broncos

From: Calgary, AB

For teams looking to add balance on draft day, Brycen Martin will surely be an ideal target. The two-way defenseman played 72 games for the Swift Current Broncos in 2013-14, putting up 37 points.

Martin is the sort of player who can contribute no matter what the situation is. On top of already great skating ability and size, Martin is a smart defender who is poised with the puck and rarely makes mistakes or gets caught out of position. He uses his size well but isn’t punishing physically- his skating and positioning often means he wins the puck simply by getting to it first. His technical abilities are generally average, though he does possess a strong shot and good first passes.

Martin’s game does not boast many salient weaknesses. His turning and pivots need work for him to keep up at the pro level, work with skating coaches at the higher levels will undoubtedly help add that polish to his natural skating ability. His offensive ceiling from a production standpoint isn’t high, but that doesn’t mean he can’t contribute to his team’s attack. He can use his skating and poise to move the puck down-ice when appropriate or send a teammate up-ice with a well-timed breakout pass. This sort of vision and poise combines well with his size and point shot to make him a good anchor on the powerplay.

Martin’s selection will be interesting to watch for on draft day. Few projections or pre-draft rankings see him being picked before #45, but I think that the top heaviness and lack of depth on defense in this year’s draft pool could push him a lot higher. Only a handful of defenseman are being consistently projected as first round picks, once the obvious choices like Aaron Ekblad, Haydn Fleury, and Anthony DeAngelo are gone I think interest in Martin could go up among teams looking to add defense rather than the best player available. The first round might still be a long shot, but I doubt he will have to wait much after that.

Quotes:

“Martin is a very good skater with solid speed in both directions and good acceleration. His pivots are merely average, and could use some work going forward though. Martin does have the edge work, agility and lateral mobility necessary to be extremely mobile at the back-end if he can improve on those pivots.  He is strong on his skates and his good balance makes him hard to knock off the puck and able to battle in the corners and in front of the net.” Benn Kerr, Lastwordonsports.com

“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

“Brycen Martin already has NHL size and with his offensive game on the upswing could be a real sleeper going into this years draft.  He is developing into a very good two way defenceman that all NHL teams covet.  He has the look of a top four blueliner that will be competent in both ends of the rink.” -Mitch Kasprick, winnipeghockeytalk.com

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