Former Estevan resident drafted by Coyotes

The recent past is littered with examples of young hockey players who spent some time in the Estevan Minor Hockey Association, then moved elsewhere and went on to succeed.

Jordan Martinook is one of them.

Martinook was a second-round pick of the Phoenix Coyotes, 58th overall, at the NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh last month.

The soon-to-be 20-year-old right winger was born in Brandon, moved to Estevan at age two and then moved to Leduc, Alta., at age eight.

In the meantime, he played three years of minor hockey in the Energy City and one in Bienfait.

"I was (surprised to be picked so high)," said Martinook. "If I would've known I'd go in the second round, I probably would have been in Pittsburgh. I was expecting to be drafted, but not in the second round, that's for sure."

That's because Martinook took a very unconventional path to the draft.

At 17, in his first year of draft eligibility, Martinook was playing Junior A hockey with the Drayton Valley Thunder of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

That year, he posted 21 goals and 40 points in 59 games - solid totals, but not impressive enough to garner any interest from NHL teams.

Most young players don't get another chance if they're passed over in their draft year.

But Martinook jumped to the Western Hockey League in 2010-11 and posted 28 points as a rookie with the Vancouver Giants.

He put it all together last year though, racking up 40 goals and 64 points to finish third in team scoring.

"My first year of being draft-eligible, I had no looks whatsoever. The second year, a little bit of notice, but nothing even close to getting drafted. It was this year that everything kind of happened for me," said Martinook.

"Phoenix showed a lot of interest before the draft. They told my agent they were going to get me and they made sure they did."

Martinook said his physical brand of play appealed to the Coyotes and that their amateur scouting director, Rick Knickle, lives in Vancouver and saw him play a lot.

"I'm a power forward with good defensive responsibility. I was playing under Don Hay and he stresses defence, so playing for him has really helped my defensive game and made me a more complete player, that's for sure."

He added that increased confidence and a bigger role on the team were key to his breakout season of 2011-12.

Martinook attended the Coyotes' prospect development camp in Phoenix earlier this month and said he enjoyed the experience.

"Getting to see where you're at compared to some of the older guys was interesting, to see if you're going to be able to battle for an NHL spot. I felt like I had a really good camp and I'm just excited for the rest of the summer and going to main camp.

"It's really an incredible place to play hockey. You can just tell that."

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