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Cole Martin On Home Ice During Stars Development Camp

Martin is happy to be home during development camp week

Wednesday, 07.11.2012 / 5:38 PM CT / News
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Cole Martin On Home Ice During Stars Development Camp

Cole Martin’s hockey development has taken to various places around North America, but he’s back where it all began this week. The 18-year-old Arlington native is one of the undrafted players attending the Dallas Stars development camp in Frisco.

“It’s going really well. The level of competition is really high out there,” said Martin. “It’s really good exposure for me, being an undrafted guy. I’m loving it.”

The Stars’ camp is another stop in a journey that Martin hopes will eventually take to him to the NHL. It started with playing roller hockey in Arlington as a four-year-old, moving on to ice hockey and eventually playing in the Dallas Ice Jets system.

Martin left Arlington after the seventh grade and played hockey in Michigan for Detroit Belle Tire and for Team Illinois in the Chicago area before landing a spot with the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League as a 16-year-old. Although he was taken in the fourth round of the USHL draft, there were doubts about whether the then 5-foor-9, 150-pound defenseman could make the Lincoln team.

“I wasn’t expecting to make it and neither were my parents, nor my coach,” Martin said. “I went in, had a really good tryout and made the team. That was probably the biggest stepping stone to my development.”

Martin, a big Stars and Derian Hatcher fan as a kid, played 42 games for Lincoln in 2010-11, registering three goals and eight assists. Playing in the USHL put him on a path to possibly play college hockey, which he was strongly considering. But he had also been selected by the Kelowna Rockets in the 2009 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft, the junior team where Jamie Benn made a name for himself.

“I was looking at (college) heavily,” he said. “I just decided I wanted to play in the WHL and see how far I could go.”

So, in 2011-12, it was off to Kelowna and the experience of playing hockey in Canada.

“It’s big. It’s like nothing I’ve experienced before,” Martin said. “In the USHL, I got lucky because I was in a good spot because in Lincoln, they fill out (the arena) pretty well. Even in Kelowna, it got louder and better, and the atmosphere is all-round. Even when you are walking down the street you can kind of feel it.”

Making the jump to the WHL was a big one for Martin, who was 17 years old when the season began. He kept it simple early on, but as the season moved along there was more confidence and more ice time.

“I came into Kelowna and I didn’t know anybody,” Martin said. “I started out, kept my head low and listened to what the coaches said. The coaches were a big part of me making my gradual slope upwards. Hopefully I continue that slant up.”

Stars amateur scout Dennis Holland, whose territory includes the WHL, says there is a lot to like about the young defenseman, who is now listed at 5-11, 165 pounds.

“He skates really well and he’s very competitive. He gives away a little bit of size, but he plays much bigger than he is listed,” said Holland. “He struggled to find ice time early, but he was a young man that I thought got better and improved and worked himself into a top four position for that hockey team. It’s a big jump for guys from a non-traditional market to compete. I know the coaching staff was more than excited about where he was able to get by the end of the season. They’re expecting great things out of him. You never know where he is going to get. He’s competitive enough and determined enough to work himself into an opportunity to somewhere.”

Martin was ranked 146th in NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings for the 2012 NHL Draft, but wasn’t listed in the final rankings. There was a thought he might still get drafted, but no luck. But there’s always the 2013 draft.

“You always hope someone sees you here or there,” Martin said. “For me, I can’t worry about not getting picked. This year I’ve got a little bit of a chip on my shoulder. I am going to go out there and show some scouts, general managers and coaches why maybe I should be drafted.”

And if Martin does end up getting drafted, he’d join a small, but growing list of local players such as Austin Smith (Dallas), Stefan Noesen (Ottawa) and Colin Jacobs (Buffalo) who have caught the eye of NHL teams in recent years.

“Texas hockey has taken huge strides. I have two younger brothers who are playing and I am trying to give them as much advice as I can,” said Martin. “Texas hockey is progressing. You could be looking at it a few years from now and it’s not just two or three, but quite a few getting drafted.”

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 55 35 16 4 153 127 74
2 DAL 52 33 14 5 169 137 71
3 STL 54 29 17 8 128 128 66
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 50 27 19 4 145 132 58
6 COL 54 27 23 4 146 148 58
7 ANA 50 25 18 7 111 115 57
8 NSH 52 24 20 8 130 137 56
9 MIN 51 23 19 9 126 122 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 51 20 19 12 119 138 52
12 CGY 50 22 25 3 130 147 47
13 WPG 51 22 26 3 132 148 47
14 EDM 52 21 26 5 130 151 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 52 28 30 16 58
T. Seguin 52 27 28 12 55
J. Klingberg 52 8 35 17 43
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 52 16 24 -1 40
C. Eakin 52 10 13 2 23
A. Goligoski 52 3 20 20 23
M. Janmark 52 10 9 13 19
A. Roussel 50 8 10 6 18
V. Nichushkin 49 6 12 8 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 9 5 .910 2.46
K. Lehtonen 13 5 0 .908 2.82
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