Brycen Martin THW Close-Up
Date of Birth: May 9, 1996
Place of Birth: Calgary, AB
Ht: 6’2” Wt: 185 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2014
It’s normal for some players to fall into the shadows of their teammates a bit, particularly during draft-eligible years were multiple teammates at the same position are heading towards the NHL Draft. Last year most prominently it occurred with the blueline of the Brandon Wheat Kings. This year’s version is the Swift Current Broncos. Last year, Ryan Pulock was highly rated by scouts and ended up going in the first round. Teammate Eric Roy operated under the radar a bit and went in the fifth round. This year, Swift Current’s Julius Honka is highly rated and teammate Brycen Martin is arguably operating in the shadows a bit.
Having just completed his second full season in the WHL (and just turned 18), Martin has a fairly impressive resume. He was ranked 26th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, and he’s emerged as a steady power-play contributor for the Broncos. On a team that didn’t have the benefit of a lot of fire-power – outside of their crackerjack first line of Colby Cave, Graham Black and Coda Gordon – Martin managed to put up points consistently. However, like Roy had last year in Pulock, Martin has a teammate in Honka that’s arguably better and more well-rounded than he is.
In particular, Martin was far too reliant on power-play time to produce points. He generated just 14 points at even-strength this season, compared to 23 points – 62% of his production – on the power-play. On the flip side, his plus/minus was by far the worst of any of Swift Current’s regular blueliners, likely a result of his even-strength play lacking a bit in comparison to his special teams minutes. However, Martin’s special teams prowess likely reflects his offensive talent and killer instinct.
Martin has some rough spots in his game, likely more than teammate Julius Honka. But Martin has impressive offensive abilities and if he can round out his defensive game a bit and bring that confidence with the puck to the other areas of his game, he could become a strong NHLer over time.
“Brycen is a very appealing player because you don’t often see him make mistakes out there. 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 defenceman… You’re not going to see him on the highlight reels, but he’s just a very solid, effective player.”
–Dan Marr, director of NHL Central Scouting
“Martin, who is only 17, has room to grow on a frame that will keep NHL teams interested. For a tall player, he moves with good speed and balance. His confidence as a puck carrier continues to grow. Martin, from Calgary, is capable of handling duties on the point when the Broncos have a man advantage.”
–Glen Erickson, Hockey’s Future
Martin was part of Team Pacific’s silver medal-winning entry at the World U-17 Hockey Challenge. He led the tournament in scoring by a defenseman.
Risk 1.5/5, Reward 3.5/5
Second or third-pairing defenseman and power-play specialist.
- Good mix of size and strength.
- Good offensive instincts, especially on power-play.
- Good vision.
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
- Needs to improve his play in his own zone.
- Too reliant on power-play for offensive production.
- Needs to add more physicality to his game.
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive 7.5/10, Defensive 7/10
NHL Player(s) Comparison:
If he could fill out a bit, Martin could resemble John Carlson at the NHL level.
When He’ll Go In June:
Martin projects as a second or third round selection.
Ryan Pike has covered the Calgary Flames and the NHL Draft extensively since 2010 as a Senior Writer for The Hockey Writers and Senior Contributing Editor of FlamesNation.ca. A member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, he lives in Calgary.