Only 20 days stand between today and the preseason opener for the Phoenix Coyotes. Today's countdown number is 20 and will feature the recently signed 20-year-old, Jordan Martinook.
Martinook signed a three-year entry level contract with the Coyotes on Saturday, according to the NHL. Martinook played with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League last season.
He scored 40 goals and 64 points in 72 games with the Giants. Martinook was selected 58th overall by the Coyotes in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. According to the Arizona Republic, Coyotes General Manager, Don Maloney was so interested in Martinook that he would have traded out of the first round and into the second (if Henrik Samuelsson was drafted before the Coyotes 1st round pick) in order to increase the chances of drafting him.
Maloney was not the only one in the Coyotes organization that was impressed with Martinook. Coyotes director of amateur scouting, Rick Knickle, had this to say about Martinook: "Jordan is a guy that I really targeted from last year. I live in Vancouver, so he's a guy that I see quite a bit. Certain things about him just kept developing. He went from 11 goals last year to 40 this year... He's a guy that I think is going to go right into the American League this year and he has a chance to play some games for us. He plays that style of play; he's a real power forward, good with the puck, goes to the net... He's a centerman, which is what we need. He plays all situations..."
Martinook has also received high praise from his former coach in Vancouver, Don Hay, "Jordan has good skating ability, he has good size and strength and a good shot. He really showed a lot of improvement in understanding the game. To me, I would think he could be a real valuable third-line centre."
The 20-year-old should see plenty of playing time in the AHL for the Portland Pirates. Martinook could see some time in the NHL if he outperforms expectations in the minors or if major injuries occur.