The first round picks are always the players that grab the headlines and set expectations sky high. But while Arizona Coyotes fans salivate over the future NHL careers of Max Domi and Henrik Samuelsson, the Coyotes will also need picks from outside of the top-30 to make a difference. One such player was the Brandon, Manitoba native who wore No. 48 at prospect development camp: Jordan Martinook.
Martinook caught the attention of the Coyotes' brass after his 2011-12 campaign with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League (WHL). In that season, Martinook torched WHL competition with 40 goals and 64 points in 72 regular season games, and another three goals and nine points in just six WHL Playoff games. That effort led general manager Don Maloney to select Martinook with the Coyotes' 58th overall pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
His first full season as a professional was a little disappointing. He spent the entirety of the 2012-13 season with the AHL Portland Pirates, scoring nine goals and 19 points in 53 appearances. While respectable, it was nowhere near the electric performance he had in his final year in the WHL and it was certainly not enough to warrant a call-up to the NHL.
Martinook's next season in Portland would be considerably better though. He scored 14 goals and had 30 points in 67 games in the 2013-14 season, which was an improvement of roughly .11 points per game over last season and good enough for eighth among all Pirates in point totals.
Where Martinook goes from here is anyone's guess. Of all the players that produced more points than Martinook, four are no longer in the Coyotes organization (Andy Miele, Chris Brown, Daine Todd, and Brandon Yip), one is in the NHL (Brandon Gormley), and the other two stand a good chance of being in-between players, if not NHL regulars, this season (Lucas Lessio and Tobias Rieder). Martinook will have plenty of opportunities to show that his game is continuing to improve and that he deserves a shot in the NHL.