You just want to be a part of a team and then the steps following that are up to me. I have to work hard day in, day out. I have to be like a professional player, and to be a professional, you have to act like a professional. - Brycen Martin
CALGARY, AB -- Brycen Martin’s goal is to take a stroll across the stage on Day 1 at the 2014 NHL Draft.
But the consolation prize for the Swift Current Broncos defenseman wouldn’t be too bad, either.
“The first round is definitely the goal, but honestly, just getting picked is good enough for me,” said Martin, who had six goals and 37 points in 72 games for the Broncos this season. “You just want to be a part of a team and then the steps following that are up to me. I have to work hard day in, day out. I have to be like a professional player, and to be a professional, you have to act like a professional.”
He’s already well on his way to accomplishing the feat.
Martin has put himself in first-round consideration, at 26th among North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final ranking for 2014.
And not even a surprise absence from Canada’s entry at the World Under-18 Championship in Finland in April can take the optimism out of the 18-year-old.
“It’s pretty disappointing, but at the same time, I can look at it as a blessing in disguise,” Martin said. “It’s always nice to represent your country, but at the same time, they’re gone in a different country for a month and I’m just worried about graduating high school.
“This does give me a chance to get an extra gained boost, too. When I’m working out, they’re playing games. It’s a win-lose situation. Everyone wants to play at the Under-18s, but at the same time, I can’t worry about it too much. The decision was made. I have to make the best of the situation.”
The Calgary, AB native is trying to do just that.
He’s spent the better part of a month training alongside fellow draft-eligible Reid Duke, preparing for the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto from May 25-31.
And while his peers earned bronze at the Under-18s, Martin placed his sole focus on the combine.
“In some ways, there’s an advantage,” said Martin, who will be one of 120 North American and European draft-eligibles in attendance. “The combine is mostly to give yourself one little bit of an extra boost. You meet with GMs and teams. When we’re practicing what we’re [going to be] doing at the combine, they’re slowing rising their stock playing in an international tournament.
“Either situation would work out for anyone, but it’s also a blessing in disguise.”
The 6-foot-1, 178-pound blueliner hopes to make the most of his blessing.
He’s taking the additional time after his Broncos were eliminated in the opening round of the WHL’s Eastern Conference quarterfinal to fine-tune the physical aspects of his combine appearance.
He’s also working on the interview portion, too, in the hopes that he can grace the stage in Philadelphia.
“What I was told was ‘don’t be terrible’,” Martin said. “That was the advice given to me. The interview part is the most important part of the whole thing. I’ve got to work on my people skills.
“Then, we’ll see how it goes.”
And see if he can stroll across the stage on June 27th.