Martin Would Welcome Challenge Of Playing In WHL
Many young and developing players aren’t overly keen on being put under the microscope and/or playing in heated hockey markets.
Quinn Martin doesn’t fit that mould. He’s prepared to accept any responsibility that’s placed on his shoulders.
Martin, a native of Santa Fe, N.M., was selected by the Youngstown Phantoms in the 2015 United States Hockey League Futures Draft but would prefer to bring his talents to Red Deer and the WHL Rebels.
“I’ve been in contact with the team for a couple of months,” the 17-year-old said Sunday, upon completing of the Rebels prospects camp at the Penhold Regional Multiplex.
“As compared to the USHL, I think the ‘Dub’ is just a better fit for me in terms of development.
“Hockey isn’t the main sport in the States and I just feel that with all the pressure and all the accountability that is placed on you here that it’s just going to push me a lot more. The staff and everybody else here seem very nice. Everything seems to fit me great.”
Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter expects Martin to sign a standard WHL players contract in the near future and was impressed of what he saw of the promising forward during the prospects camp.
“I just think he’s got great hands. He’s skilled and he’s a great skater,” said Sutter. “Obviously his skill set . . . you can tell it’s very high. He has a nice touch around the net with the softness of his hands. I just like the way he is.”
The three-day camp was clearly a small sample in terms of exposure, but Sutter is confident that Martin’s talents will show through in actual games.
“We haven’t seen much of him in a real competitive environment, more of that will happen in the fall,” said the Rebels boss.
“But you can see the ability he has just with the things we were doing on the ice here and you have to think he’s going to be able to put that all together in a game situation.
“I know Randy (Peterson, Rebels director of scouting/player development) and Shaun (Sutter, assistant GM/director of player personnel) are very high on him.”
New Mexico, as Martin noted, is not known for producing hockey players.
“There’s no hockey there,” he said. “But my dad, who grew up in Texas, wanted me to do some winter sports.
“I remember when I was five years old he asked me if I wanted to do this ‘learn to skate’ thing’. I hopped on the ice and have loved it ever since.”
To further his development, Martin left home at 13 to attend — and compete at — a prep school in Boston. From there, he joined the Colorado Under-16 Thunderbirds, based in Littleton.
In 32 games with the T-Birds last season, he scored six goals and collected 19 points while racking up 38 minutes in penalties. He contributed another goal and two helpers in four playoff contests.
Martin, who also competed with Team Gold in a USA Select 16 tournament — scoring two goals in five games — describes himself as “a good two-way player”.
“I get on the defensive side, make plays (offensively) and throw my body around pretty good,” said the six-foot, 165-pound forward. “For me, it’s not all about finesse, it’s just getting it done by going in the corners and doing things the right way.”
- The camp, which featured 29 drafted and listed players aged 15 to 17, wrapped up Sunday morning. “It was great, a real successful camp,” said Brent Sutter. “It was a chance for the kids to get acclimatized to our organization, the city and to each other. Now when they come back (for training camp) in August they won’t be in awe of everything. They’ll be able to come in and feel comfortable and make real good impressions in camp.”