Meet Dallas Stars defense prospect Chris Martenet for the first time and one thing stands out – he is a big young man. Check out his profile and you find out how big. He comes in at six feet, seven inches. Part of that size a product of a growth spurt a few years ago.
“I was 14 or 15, and I went from 6-1 to 6-6 in nine months,” Martenet said.
It wasn’t a matter of if Martenet would shoot up in height, just when. Everybody in his family is tall.
“My grandma is the shrimp at 5-8, and she’s almost 80,” Martenet said. “My sisters are both 6-2, my dad is 6-6. My mom used to be 6-1, but she has shrunk a little bit with age. She is still beautiful though.”
Martenet’s family was on hand last month to share in the excitement when the Stars nabbed him in the fourth round (103rd overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Florida.
“It was pretty unbelievable, seeing all the smiles on my family’s faces and I had a pretty big grin on my face as well,” Martenet said. “It’s nothing I’ve felt before. I am truly honored and blessed to be a Dallas Star.”
The Stars are excited about the Martenet’s potential. He’s a raw prospect, but they like his size, obviously, and another family trait.
“We think there is lots of growth there,” said Stars GM Jim Nill. “His whole family is athletic.”
The 18-year-old Martenet, a left-handed shot, was a rookie last season with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. He registered 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists) in 64 games. Scouts saw a lot of improvement over the course of the season.
“His whole year was on an upward swing. He’s an athlete,” said Joe McDonnell, Stars Director of Amateur Scouting. “He’s going to be a simple, first-pass guy with that long range, long mobility. For his size, he’s a very good skater.”
Said Martenet: “I am a defensive defenseman. I will jump in the play from time to time. I try to make a good first pass, make sure I try to bear down in the D-zone. I am a good skater I like to think, move well. That’s pretty much what I bring to the table. I’ll block shots, and I’ll do whatever is necessary to win.”
Born in Wisconsin and raised in St. Louis, Martenet spent two seasons with the prestigious Shattuck St. Mary’s program and then one season with the Indiana Ice of the USHL before joining London, one of the top programs in major junior hockey.
“It’s one of the best organizations in all of the CHL (Canadian Hockey League),” Martenet said of the London Knights. “They advocated for me all season. All the little things we did off the ice and on the ice – footwork and stickhandling, shooting the puck and everything – those guys really helped me out a lot and I can’t thank them enough.”
The Stars believe Martenet is in a good spot with London, where he’ll continue to play. It’s a program that has done a good job turning out good prospects. Martenet still has a lot of work to do to get to the NHL and sees plenty of areas where he can improve.
“Every area. I can be more physical. I can be a better skater,” Martenet said. “I can work on my skills, stickhandling and my shot can be harder. I think I can be a much more intimidating force as I put on weight.”
NHL Central Scouting listed Martenet at 198 pounds, something the young defenseman corrected at last month’s draft.
“That [weight] was the beginning of the season. I am 210 now,” Martenet said. “I’d like to get up to 230 before I get a shot at playing in the NHL.”
“He must be eating well,” McDonnell said after receiving the weight update on Martenet.
And the Stars hope Martenet keeps eating well.
“Once he grows into his body,” Nill said, “I think he can really be something.”
Prospects hit the ice at Development camp Tuesday
Fans can get a look at Chris Martenet and more than 20 other Dallas Stars prospects when the team’s development camp begins on-ice sessions Tuesday morning at the Dr. Pepper StarCenter in Frisco. More than 30 players, including several free agent invitees, will be on hand for the camp.
Here is the camp schedule, which is subject to change.
Tuesday, July 7
* Team Turco ice session: 9:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
* Team Bassen ice session: 2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 8
* Ice session for all players: 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Thursday, July 9
* Defensemen ice session: 10 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
* Ice session for all players: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
* Forwards ice session: 2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Friday, July 10
* Ice session for all players - 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Saturday, July 11
* Development Camp Scrimmage: 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.