For a number of years I closely followed New York Islander prospects because I assumed they would eventually become Oilers’ property. This trend really hasn’t changed much in the last year, but with Mad Mike gone from the picture, no one knows if the pipeline will keep producing.
The Islanders drafted Tomas Marcinko in the 4th round of the 2006 draft. The Slovakian came over to the OHL in his draft year to skate with the Barrie Colts. He had a respectable first season, tallying in 19 goals and 21 assists, and has started this season with 11 goals in 15 games. Jason Ford, the Colts assistant GM, notes that Marcinko is becoming comfortable playing in Canada and his point totals are reflecting that. Described as having good skating ability and hands for a player his size, Marcinko himself notes that he doesn’t see himself as either a defensive center or a scorer, he is just happy to contribute.
The 19 year has participated in two Islander camps to date and was a member of Slovakia’s entry in last year’s World Junior Championships. Prior to coming to Ontario, he played a few games in the Slovak Extraleague and this experience coupled with his NHL camps have buoyed his confidence. Scouts feel that this combination of size and skill should propel him to the next level.
The knocks on Marcinko’s game are many. “Lost in the offensive zone”, “weak on the boards”, “fails to drive to the net” and “inability to finish” are all phrases that can be found when describing this Slovak. That being said, other scouts feel that he has 1st round talent if he can put all the pieces together. To do so, he must add some bulk to his 6’4 frame and play on par with his size. If he can get stronger and learn to play with an edge, he could be a very valuable prospect going forward. The top end potential for Marcinko figures to be as a solid 3rd liner with some offensive upside. Think Fernando Pisani.