2020-21 Team: USNTDP Juniors (USHL) #9
Date of Birth: Jan 07, 2003
Place of Birth: Falls Church, VA, USA
Ht: 6-foot-2 Wt: 192 pounds
Position: Left Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 126th (amongst NA skaters)
- Smaht Scouting: 62nd
- FC Hockey: 82nd
- Draft Prospects Hockey: 82nd
Gilmartin is a United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP) product, where he has been deployed in a complimentary, shutdown role on either their third or fourth line. His mature frame, stamina, and soft hands allow him to be a constant one-on-one threat and dominate the boards at the United States Hockey League (USHL) level. His production reflects his relatively low ice-time, with 15 points in 23 games, but does not reflect his play so far for the Program, as he has often been their most hard-working player.
His constant, layered effort on loose pucks and the forecheck allows him to generate many multi-possession shifts (cycle, shot, retrieval, and so on), which in turn leads to goals. On cycle plays in the USHL, however, all five players usually touch the puck, and the players who earn the points on the goal are not always the ones deserving the most credit for it happening. For example, Gilmartin will often win a puck race, battle two defenders out of the corner, make a cycle pass, screen the goaltender on a goal, and not earn a point after his teammates passed it around multiple times.
He can still spot potential high-danger passes and recognize openings quickly in the offensive zone, but his teammates often cannot capitalize. This is due to two factors: slight technical deficiencies in Gilmartin’s passing mechanics leading to imperfect pass receptions, and playing with teammates who cannot turn slightly off passes into threatening shots.
His shooting is an asset he will need to learn to use more often, as he gets a good amount of velocity on his releases, which are often hard to read due to a short follow through. He always seems to be in a helpful spot, either screening the goalie or in the slot, with his stick down, ready to shoot it. His game is already mature, and his tenure at Providence College will only add more men’s hockey under his belt.
Related: 2021 NHL Draft Guide
If Gilmartin can work on utilizing his upper body and lower body separately when skating, which will allow him to bobble fewer passes when skating in transition, he could generate more controlled zone entries and become even more dangerous offensively; he masters the dump-and-chase game, but adding that rush threat is often the difference between a bottom-six player and a top-six NHL regular.
Liam Gilmartin – NHL Draft Projection
Team USA’s elimination from the U18 World Championship will come as a sore loss for Gilmartin, as he was unable to score a medal at that level in his final year of eligibility; he did get to play in front of scouts, which can only help in seeing his name rise in the ranking. He is currently absent from Baracchini’s top 100 of March and Zator’s top 100 of April, but he put in a good performance at the U18 Worlds and could potentially sneak his way into the third, or maybe even the second round.
“The tall, stocky winger possesses a silky set of hands for his size that he employs well in 1-on-1 situations against defenders. He’s also a capable passer who can work the puck inside to his teammates.” – Joey Padmanabhan, EP Rinkside
“I think Gilmartin has proved to me that he is a top 50 [2021 NHL Draft pick]. He is so reliable and plays his role perfectly. Playing a responsible defensive game, bringing physicality each shift and understanding where he needs to be and what to do very consistently.” – Dylan Krill, USHL Scout, via DobberProspects
- Defensive game
- Board play
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Passing accuracy
- High-speed puck control
Gilmartin’s never-give-up mentality and his ability to play quick, reactive hockey in both ends should at the very least carry him into the NHL for some games; with his mature approach to the game, he could see professional hockey sooner than most in this draft, but to guarantee his tenure and durability in the NHL, he will need to develop more fluidity with the puck and build a proper transition game.
His vision in the offensive zone indicates untapped offensive potential, but the overall mechanics need refining. This type of prospect is easier to develop than one who has it the other way around; a player with good mechanics, but wrong instincts, is very difficult to turn into a professional.
Risk – 2.5/5, Reward – 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 6/10, Defense – 8/10
In 2019-20, Gilmartin won a silver medal at the U17 World Championship for Team USA; he scored two goals in six games at that tournament. He has no other distinctions as of yet.