Marco Martin made one of the most beautiful grimaces submitted to fate in recent years on Friday evening. The 18-year-old Acadian, with an unusual career path, was the very first player selected in the Maritime Junior League’s annual draft. It’s not nothing. Eleven months ago, apart from the supporters of the Olympiens de L’Odyssée, hardly anyone in the hockey world knew of its existence.
Marco Martin is proof that when you want something, you just have to really want it.
Cut at 15 and 16 in his first two years of eligibility on the Provincial Under-18 Tour, the right-winger showed up at his third Moncton Flyers camp with the spirits of hell. He was more than ever determined to prove to head coach John DeCourcey and his assistants that he was among the elite in his age group. He proved his point.
“I came to camp with the intention of being the best player so they had no choice but to take me,” he said.
“Coming to camp for the third year in a row, I knew the only way to make it was to impress them by playing some really high quality hockey,” he says.
The results were not long in being felt. His efforts were so noticed that the Rimouski Océanic did not hesitate to sign him as an affiliate player shortly before Christmas.
His role with the Flyers also grew when Jonah Leard’s season ended due to injury. It was to Martin that the team turned to complete a line with Preston Lounsbury and Noah Matulu.
And that’s without forgetting, of course, that Marco Martin played a very important role in winning the Telus Cup, which wants the holy grail of under-18 hockey in the country.
“Everything I got this year, whether it was my signing with the Océanic, the Telus court or even my selection for first place in the MHL, I owe it to the Flyers coaches who made me a place in the team. They saw potential in me and without that it’s clear that I wouldn’t be where I am today”, mentions Martin gratefully.
The little plague of 5 feet 10 inches and 173 pounds does not intend to stop there. He will first take part in the Océanic camp, where he intends to impress.
“I’m going to camp in Rimouski to impress them. Noah (Matulu) and I are going to the Océanic camp with an experience that the other recruits of the organization do not have, a conquest of the Telus cup, ”he reveals.
“And if that doesn’t work out, I’m going to give it all to the Blizzard camp. What I bring to a team is my desire to want to win the battles in the rink, my physical game and my ability to contribute on offense,” he said.
When asked about the Telus Cup, Marco Martin’s voice betrayed all the happiness he still feels from this experience last May.
“It’s something chosen to win the national championship when you come from a small place like Moncton, he exclaims. It was really special to experience that. When we returned to New Brunswick, there were almost 300 people waiting for us. It was incredible.”
“We’re getting our rings at the end of the month and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m going to wear it with pride,” adds the first choice of the Edmundston Blizzard.
In 30 games with the Flyers, Martin had seven goals and 18 assists for 25 points. During the Telus Cup tournament, he earned six points, including two goals.
In short… Marco Martin is the younger brother of University of Prince Edward Island Panthers forward Mireille Martin… With their second first-round pick, the Blizzard selected forward Alexandre Pelletier, eighth overall. du Vito’s de Saint-Jean… In addition to territorial picks Zachary Robichaud (defender, Fredericton Caps) and Nicholas Lavoie (defender, Mount Academy Saints), selected earlier last week, the Blizzard also drafted the following players on Friday evening : Colby Train (41st, defenseman, Vito’s), Tommy Hendrickson (67th, defenseman, Flyers), Miguel Léger (68th, forward, Moncton Thunderbirds), Ryan Small (69th, center, Central Impact), Joseph Finnigan (92nd, forward, Flyers) and Aiden Diamond (104th, defenseman, Saints)…