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2017 NHL Draft Profile: University of Michigan's Luke Martin can bring missing element to Red Wings defense

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NCAA Men's Frozen Four - Michigan Wolverines v Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Luke Martin, defenseman at the University of Michigan is a defenseman who can add a different element on the Red Wings blueline. Every year Wings fans want a big body on the blueline and Martin is exactly that. For those of us that watch the Wolverines, we know he is a shot blocker, which to the casual hockey fan would go unnoticed but for us diehards we know just how important that is and those are the type of players on defense who play on your third pairing but win you championships.

With that, you draft Martin for a tough, defense first player. One that you hope develops into a shutdown defender on your blueline. While not a player that will put up a ton of points, Martin is a good skater and has all the tools to be a key penalty killer for Detroit a few years down the line.

Martin, had a year to learn from the legendary Red Berenson and now will be learning from new head coach Mel Pearson, which can really help Martin progress his game forward.

Player vitals

Name: Luke Martin
Position: Defenseman
Date of birth: September 20, 1998
Birthplace: St. Louis, MO
Height: 6’4
Weight: 215 pounds
NHL comparable: Mark Fayne

Rankings

Future Considerations: #58
NHL CSS: #61 (North American skaters)

FC analysis

He keeps pace with quicker forwards by using his mobility and reach to keep opponents towards the outside. Martin is a defense-first player, and doesn’t appear to have a high offensive ceiling but he is mobile enough to get involved in the offense without sacrificing his ability to shut down the opposition.

Bottom line

The Red Wings first pick in the 3rd round is 71st overall and Martin being available then is a possibility but by no means a guarantee, and of course depending on trades and how things shake.

We always see how different players are ranked differently depending on who or what service is ranking them. Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek, recently released his top 100 NHL Draft rankings. Marek has Martin as the 75th ranked player, which put him in prime range to be selected as a third round pick by the Red Wings. It will be interesting in the next few weeks if Martin trends more towards a 3rd round pick or holding steady as being ranked in the late second round area.

Keep in mind with Martin, you’ll be drafting him to develop into a shutdown shot blocking defenseman at the NHL level. Along with teaching him how to use his size to his advantage to be successful in the NHL. His lack of offense his first season at Michigan is not much of a concern for me, as that is not the reason or expectation in development you would be drafting Martin for.