GLENDALE – Fresh off an eye-popping season in the Western Hockey League, Coyotes prospect Jordan Martinook can't wait to start his pro career.
Martinook, a 2012 second-round draft pick who signed an entry-level contract with the Coyotes this week, is in the Valley getting ready for the 2012-13 season with other prospects. He’s hoping the confidence gained in his 40-goal, 64-point season for the Vancouver Giants last year will serve him well in his first year in the Coyotes’ system.
“You work all your life to play junior, and then when you’re playing junior you’re hoping to get drafted, then after you get drafted there’s the process of signing,” Martinook said. “So, I’ve just been kind of following the steps and it’s kind of been an accelerated process for me, but I’m happy to get it done and I’m excited to get going.”
Martinook, a center, likely will start the season in the American Hockey League.
“I’m looking forward to my first (NHL) training camp and then I’ll kind of get a feel for where I am and how much more work I need to do,” Martinook said. “If the American League is in my sights for this year then I’ll try to grow as much as I can in that league and hopefully take what I have learned into next year.”
A season after netting just 11 goals, Martinook ranked second on the Giants in goals in 2011-12 with 40. He also ranked third on the team in points with 64. In six playoff games, he chipped in three goals and six assists.
So, why the big jump in offensive stats in just one season?
|Photo by Norm Hall. |
“I think (I was) just getting comfortable with the league,” Martinook said. “Going into my first year in the Western League I wasn’t really prepared as much as I wanted to be for the change of pace. Going from Junior-A to the Western League, it’s pretty different… I had a really good training camp last year and it just kind of carried out into my season.”
Martinook, 20, is a power forward with an impressive wrist shot. The Coyotes grabbed him with the 58th overall pick at last June’s NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh.
"Jordan had a breakout season in the WHL last season and was a guy our scouts really had targeted going into the draft this June," Coyotes Assistant General Manager Brad Treliving said. "The move to the pro game will be a big step for him and it will be interesting to see how quickly he adjusts and grabs hold if it. He is a strong, thick body who can play in tight areas and his skill-set matches with the style of game we like to play.”
“I think being defensively responsible and adding that offensive punch that I did last year has really developed me into a good two-way player. Talking to scouts and talking to coaches, they said the game is turning into players being able to play both ways. You really don’t have that pure offensive guy or pure defensive guy anymore; they’re looking for the two-way guys. So, I think that’s the main part of my game.”