Saturday, September 3, 2011
The Oilers could certainly use a second line center with size, enter Ryan Martindale. Standing at 6'3" tall Martindale could be just what the doctor ordered playing second fiddle to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Big, skilled, and rounding out his defensive game, Martindale has a lot going for him.
Turning twenty years of age next month, Martindale still has time on his side as well. Martindale had very respectable stats last year (34-49-83 in 65 games) as he was 1/3 of Ottawa's top line along with LA Kings prospect Tyler Toffoli and 2011 Senators 2nd round pick Shane Prince.
Martindale still has a long way to go to realistically be considered part of the Oilers equation, however as long as the Oilers sign him, he will have three years to potentially progress and become the player that the Oilers hoped that he'd become when the opened up the 3rd round of the 2010 draft by calling his name.
A definite long shot whose consistency has been called into question, Martindale will have to step his game up immensely to get to the NHL level. With that said if he does reach his upside he would be a major contributor going forward and he could make it possible to move other Oilers centers to fill holes in the roster.