Trevor Martin might not see any game action with the Red Deer Rebels this spring, but he’s certainly in the picture for next season.
Accordingly, the 19-year-old netminder is currently with the club and will stick around as long as the Rebels’ playoff run lasts. He’s officially the team’s third goaltender and likely won’t get into a game unless Rylan Toth, who’s been superb through the first two games of a WHL Eastern Conference quarter-final versus the Medicine Hat, and/or back-up Taz Burman falters.
Still, he’s been instructed by GM/head coach Brent Sutter to be prepared in case the call comes.
“Just be sharp in practice because you never know if you might get in,” Martin said Tuesday, in reference to Sutter’s message to him upon his arrival in Red Deer late last week.
For now, he’s working out — both on the ice and off — with his new teammates while forging friendships.
“It’s a good experience to come in and meet everybody and just kind of settle in,” said Martin, who was acquired from the Saskatoon Blades Jan. 5 in return for defenceman Kolton Dixon.
The Ardrossan native played major bantam and midget AAA hockey in Sherwood Park and Leduc and was selected by the Spokane Chiefs in the ninth round of the 2011 WHL bantam draft. Martin suited up with the Whitecourt Wolverines of the AJHL for eight games during the 2013-14 season and his WHL rights were dealt from Spokane to Saskatoon in May of last year.
Martin appeared in 19 games with the Blades last fall — posting a 4.16 goals-against average and .886 save percentage — before being demoted to the Melville Millionaires of the SJHL in late November.
It was with Melville that the six-foot-two, 175-pound stopper emerged as a game-changer. In 21 regular-season outings, he recorded a GAA of 2.15 and a .929 save percentage with three shutouts.
“It was a little disappointing (being reassigned by the Blades to the junior A Millionaires) but it was good because I got to fine-tune everything down there,” he said.
“I got to start almost every game and we had a good coach as well in Jamie Fiesel.
“He had a strong system and we had a great group of guys. I think it was really good for my development.”
The Millionaires’ season concluded March 22 with a 4-0 playoff loss to the Nipawin Hawks, who took the best-of-seven SJHL post-season set in six games. But Martin’s season continues, despite the fact he’ll be a spectator tonight when the Rebels — down 2-0 to the Tigers after a pair of one-goal setbacks on the road — host Game 3 of the quarter-final series at the Enmax Centrium.
Sutter recently confirmed that Martin will definitely be a candidate for regular employment next season, an exciting prospect for the netminder considering the Rebels will host the 2016 Memorial Cup tournament.
It’s highly likely that the club’s two goaltenders will emerge from the competition waged by the trio of Toth, Burman and Martin, who insisted he’ll be up to the challenge.
“Nothing is ever guaranteed. I just have to come in and work hard and stop the puck,” he said. “I’m definitely going to have a good summer of training this year.
“I train with (former Rebels netminder and current Edmonton Oilers goalie coach) Dustin Schwartz and I work out with (Rebels defenceman Josh) Mahura at Athletes Nation in St. Albert, a real good program.”
Game 4 of the Rebels/Tigers series will be played Thursday at the Centrium. Fifth to seventh games, if required, will go Saturday in Medicine Hat, Sunday at the Centrium and Tuesday at Medicine Hat.