Screencap via MapleLeafs.com
The Toronto Marlies have made a move to keep their defensive rotation well-stocked throughout the year, upgrading James Martin’s professional tryout to a full American Hockey League contract.
It could be said that Martin is a direct benefactor of the Nashville Predators claiming Petter Granberg off of waivers. If he were to have cleared, it would have put the Marlies at eight defencemen, likely leaving Martin to head back to the Orlando Solar Bears to ensure that he’d receive regular playing time.
With Granberg out of the picture, however, Martin gets to be the Marlies’ seventh defenceman, a role that he’s had this year. In three games, he’s picked up two assists. Two of his three games came at the end of the recent November road trip, where the 24-year-old played in both games against the St. John’s IceCaps. Martin also has four shots, two penalty minutes, and a +1 rating.
Martin was an individual who immediately stood out to me among all the other tryouts at Marlies training camp earlier in the fall. He appears to be an intelligent skater who is capable of releasing a decent shot when afforded the opportunity.
Martin played for the Swift Current Broncos in Major Junior, and was not drafted. Since then, he’s played exactly 200 professional games, with 155 of those coming in the ECHL, where he’s played for Uta, Alaska, and Fort Wayne since 2012/13. He’s also played for the Abbotsford Heat and Lake Erie Monsters in the AHL, picking up four points in 42 games before joining the Marlies.
His offensive breakout came last year, finishing second in defensive scoring on the Fort Wayne Komets with 9 goals and 32 assists in 60 games. Drew Daniels, the only defender ahead of him, had four more points in twelve additional games.
The Marlies return to the ice tomorrow night against the Syracuse Crunch.