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NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Adam Marsh

Austin Manak Avatar
May 25, 2015

 

Get to Know Adam Marsh

Date of Birth: 8/22/1997
Place of Birth: Chicago, IL, USA
Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 160 lbs
Shoots: Left
Position: Left Wing
Team: Saint John Sea Dogs

Adam Marsh at his best is a sniper, who can create electric, goal-scoring moments for his team out of the blue. Adam Marsh at his worst is a player who remains in the blue — invisible for long stretches.

In his 17-year-old season with the Saint John Sea Dogs, Marsh put up 24 goals and 44 points in 60 games. In many ways, he is the antithesis of teammate Nathan Noel, who was profiled last week.

Whereas Noel is a scrappy player, who maximizes his talents with an ever-humming motor, Marsh seems like a guy who has all the tools required to be a great player, but too often seems content floating by on those talents. To develop and reach his full potential, a little hunger in his attitude will go a long way for Marsh.

Despite being born in Chicago, and playing midget hockey in Illinois, Marsh elected to go the Canadian Hockey League route for his development. Getting a team to take a chance on him was fortuitous, because Marsh quit hockey during the 2013-14 season, citing disagreements with his head coach and a fading passion for the game.

These attitude concerns led him to be overlooked on OHL draft day, but he eventually found a home in the QMJHL on the Sea Dogs, who decided his talents were worth the risk. This fresh start in Saint John has helped to get Marsh in a better place when it comes to playing hockey, and put him back on the radar for the 2015 NHL Draft.

His final Central Scouting ranking among North American skaters is 55th, a slight dip from his midterm ranking of 42nd, which coincides with the Sea Dogs playing much better hockey during the first half of their season.

Statistics

What Scouts See

Wayne Smith, Windsor Spitfires Head Scout

There were rumors around him, but his on-ice ability was good, and there was great potential and upside if you gave the kid an opportunity for a fresh start. The teams that wouldn’t touch him didn’t do their due diligence … [Marsh] has NHL talent. He has taken that step forward this year and put himself in a position to be an NHL player.

Hockey’s Future, Chris Roberts

Employing a combination of speed and a lightning-quick release, Adam Marsh has been an impressive free agent find for the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs…

…Marsh, 17, has some of the tools that might remind one of a young Jeff Carter, but he is nowhere near as polished. He’s listed at 6’0” and 160 pounds and, admittedly, knows he must get stronger to further his hockey career.

What BSN Avalanche Sees

Adam Marsh is a project prospect in every sense. On the plus side, Marsh has a goal-scorers touch. His shot is quick and accurate, and he is a threat to pull the trigger and score throughout the offensive zone. Natural goal-scoring ability is a valuable commodity in the NHL, so teams always will take notice of youngsters with this asset.

Skating is also a strength for Marsh, who utilizes a long, fluid stride to cover ground quickly. His stick handling isn’t exceptional, but it’s good enough to help him create his own shot. His quick hands and release on his shot allow him to get rubber on net even in tight spaces, and when he’s in the zone he tends to find himself in great scoring positions.

Adding some mass to his 6’0″ and 160 pound frame is a must for Marsh if he wishes to realize his dream of playing NHL hockey. At this point, he doesn’t shy away from contact, and has been known to lay the lumber from time to time with some bone crushing hits, or drop the gloves if need be. This physical snarl is a nice complimentary piece for any goal-scorer, and should improve as he fills out his body.

If Marsh isn’t getting scoring chances, he can sometimes disengage from the game. His mentality could use improvement, which I think would help improve his consistency. Defensively he is adequate for a young player in the Q, but he will need to improve this area of his game as well to get to professional standards.

Inconsistency, proneness to having long low-impact stretches of hockey, and previous commitment issues will all count against Marsh on draft day.

Highlights

NHL Potential

Marsh certainly has the talents in his arsenal needed to be an NHL player. His shooting and goal-scoring ability give him a shot to become a top-six player if things go right for him, and he maximizes his development curve.

He has shown a willingness to play a physical game as well. If Marsh adds some weight and focuses on his defensive game, he could also stick as a checking line forward with some offensive upside.

There is a very real possibility that Marsh never reaches the NHL. It’s a tough ascent to the top, and many players, even those with as much talent as Marsh, can’t quite reach the summit. Marsh will have to prove he can handle adversity, and that he learned some lessons in his youth when he quit when the going got tough.

Expected Draft Position

It’s anybodies guess, really, where Marsh ends up being drafted. If a team heavily prioritizes his goal scoring abilities, he could sniff the latter half of the 2nd round. A more realistic expectation is that he ends up going somewhere in the 4th round, with an outside chance he falls further due to his previous commitment issues.

It will be a classic case of risk/reward analysis, where teams expose themselves to more risk the earlier they select Marsh. I believe teams should do their homework, and make sure Adam is a good fit within their organization, as this will maximize his chances of making the decision to draft him pay off. The later Marsh slips in the draft, the more his upside will make him worth cashing in a draft pick to acquire.

How Would Marsh Fit in the Avalanche Organization?

An American sniper would be a welcome addition to the Avalanche prospect pool, as it is currently shallow on impact wingers.

Marsh has a good frame, which should fill out nicely, and he likes to play physical and agitate the opponent. While not a massive winger, his style should fit what the Avalanche are trying to do, which is be a tough team to play against.

It would be ambitious to expect Marsh to reach the NHL quickly, with 1-2 more years at Saint John and some AHL time in San Antonio his prescribed playing locations for the next 3-4 years.

If Marsh slips to the 4th or 5th round, the Avs should start thinking about pulling the trigger. At this portion of the draft, you can take a chance on a player who will need some patient love and care to reach the NHL. I feel like good teams find these types of players late in the draft — complex mixtures of potential and pitfalls — and with a little luck, coax the attributes they want to the forefront to create impactful NHL players.

A lot of ifs need to turn into realities for Marsh, but you can’t deny his potential to be a goal scorer in the NHL someday.

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