2020-21 Team: Omaha Lancers
Date of Birth: Sept. 28, 2002
Place of Birth: Toronto, ON, CAN
Ht: 5-foot-10 Wt: 170 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 46th (among NA skaters)
- Future Considerations: 37th
- Recruit Scouting: 53rd
- Peter Baracchini’s March Rankings: 53rd
- Andrew Forbes’ May Rankings: 73rd
- Matthew Zator’s April Rankings: 97th
- SMAHT Scouting: 34th
- Bob Mckenzie’s Mid-Season Rankings: 47th
- DobberProspects Mid- Season Rankings: 32nd
Over the last few drafts, the USHL has done a fantastic job at bringing in and developing talent for the NHL. This year just adds to that notion, as there’s another potential top name to come out of that league in Omaha Lancers forward Ayrton Martino.
Related: 2021 NHL Draft Guide
Martino was a standout in the Ontario Junior Hockey League and had an impressive rookie season with the Lancers, being well above a point per game. According to Pick224, among draft year players, he is fourth overall in primary points per (P1/GP) with 1.13. In addition, his 3.33 total primary points per estimated 60 minutes (P1/e60), ranks him eighth overall. From those numbers alone, he can do a lot of damage offensively.
Martino brings a very high-octane offensive game. He’s a strong skater with a smooth stride, weaving his way through traffic and avoiding defenders with ease. When given a breakaway opportunity, it’s difficult to catch up. When he’s in the offensive zone, he’s always moving with the opposition having difficulty to contain him. His edgework allows him to make sharp turns in order to break free from any kind of pressure that he’s facing.
He is relentless without the puck as he’s in constant pursuit, tracking it down in order to gain possession. He’s always in great position for a battle and even to make a quick stick lift for the puck and can quickly transition to offense as a result. Offense is always on his mind, even when he’s in a defensive situation. On the penalty kill, Martino has the smarts to intercept plays and make the opposition pay.
Martino’s playmaking abilities make him one of the top playmakers in this class as he makes crisp passes and can create plays in tight areas. When he has possession, he’s always keeping his head up and assessing his options. He can distribute the puck effectively in so many ways; be it long stretch passes, quick give and go plays and even looking for rebound opportunities. He has a knack for drawing defenders in and freeing up space for his teammates and putting the puck in the right spot.
While Martino is a go-to setup man, his shot allows him to be a dual offensive threat. He has great power behind his shot and his has a very quick release. When he’s on a breakaway, his hands are lightning quick as he able to deke in tight that freezes the goalie allowing him to score easily.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Ayrton Martino- NHL Draft Projection
There’s no doubt that Martino put himself on the map as an eye-popping prospect in this year’s draft. The consensus of his rank appears to be either an early to mid-second round pick. While I have him in that range, there isn’t any doubt that he can move up higher on my list to the early part of that round or even as a late first-rounder.
“The slightly undersized forward plays with pace, pushing defenses to try and get in his face to slow him down but he has the requisite skill to make things difficult and get to scoring areas. Off puck, he is a slash-and-dash player who attacks the middle of the ice over and over but rarely sits down in a spot… He jumps for offense a bit at times but as a winger, he does a job of identifying when to do it. His biggest strength comes from how versatile he is in the offensive zone.” – Tony Ferrari, DobberProspects
“He has very quick feet and is able to generate acceleration very efficiently, being a constant threat and keeping defenders on their toes. He was able to handle the puck well through the neutral zone and made offensive zone entries with control and also showed some skill with a nice toe-drag around a defender to show off some flash to his game. Martino displayed very good vision consistently all game, finding teammates through traffic and creating many high danger scoring chances.”- Dylan Krill, FC Hockey
“His passes are accurate, easily handled, and lead their intended target so they can remain in motion towards the net. On 2-on-1 opportunities, Martino knows to hold onto the puck long enough for a goal to commit to him as the shooter, then find a teammate for an open shot on goal. Martino is methodic and driven to be a multifaceted difference-maker in the offensive zone.”- John Gove, The Draft Analyst
- Skating and Speed
- Offensive awareness
- Playmaking abilities
- Quick hands
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Over aggressive at times
- Slight improvement on puck handling
Martino’s offensive mindset gives him the potential to be a dangerous point producer at the NHL level. The combination of his shot and playmaking abilities will throw a lot of players off. It isn’t hard to see him as a very effective player at five-on-five and on the power play. He can be utilized on the penalty kill as he’s an efficient and reliable player in that situation.
Risk- Reward Analysis
Risk- 2/5, Reward 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense- 8/10, Defense 8/10
Martino was named to the OJHL Second All-Star Team in 2019-20. That season he represented Canada East at the World Jr. A Challenge, winning a silver medal. He was also named USHL Player of the Week as the top forward in January.