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Penguins acquire defenseman John Marino from Edmonton Oilers for conditional draft pick

A trade...But not the one we were expecting

The Pittsburgh Penguins have made a mid-summer trade!

But, no, not that trade.

More from the team:

The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired defenseman John Marino from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a conditional 2021 sixth-round draft pick, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Marino, who was drafted in the sixth round (154th overall) by Edmonton in the 2015 NHL Draft, is currently unsigned. The Oilers will receive Pittsburgh’s 2021 sixth-round draft choice if Marino signs with the Penguins, or if the team trades his rights.

”John is a mobile defenseman who excels at moving the puck while also playing with an edge to his game,” said Rutherford. “We are excited to acquire him as we continue to add defensive depth to the organization. The next step is to work on getting a contract done with him.”

The 22-year-old spent the 2018-19 campaign playing collegiate hockey with Harvard University of the ECAC Conference, where he suited up for 30 games, registering three goals and eight assists for 11 points. In three seasons with Harvard, Marino has tallied 42 points (7G-35A) in 101 career games.

Marino was a sixth round pick by the Oilers in 2015, so it’s even value to give up a future sixth if the Penguins can sign him, but in reality probably better than even since he’ll be worth more than a typical late round pick.

Marino is a rising senior going into Harvard (and typically that prestigious degree can make hockey players want to finish out school), so we’ll see how successful Rutherford will be in his stated attempt to sign Marino. I’ve also seen online that Marino has been named captain of the team for next year, another draw and sign that he may choose to return.

If Marino does finish out his senior season in Harvard in 2019-20, the Pens could potentially sign him next March, if the player wants to go that route. Marino could also opt to not sign with the Pens, and would be an unrestricted free agent and chose his own NHL team on August 15, 2020 next summer.

So, stay tuned. Nice to see Pittsburgh constantly scanning the league and finding talent where-ever they think it might be, but probably don’t expect John Marino to be any sort of factor in the NHL anytime soon.

Which is fine, because the team doesn’t really have that many prospect defensemen in the 18-22 year old range that Marino is in. If he chooses to sign, he could help bolster the organization there, but it also could be much ado about nothing for a while if he chooses to go back to Harvard and eventually does not sign with Pittsburgh.

Here’s an interesting player profile from the Edmonton Journal:

Marino was plucked by the Oilers 154th over-all in the 2015 draft. He is a big enough kid. Listed at 6’2, 181, sources in Boston tell me that he is now 207. If accurate, that’s a significant development. t would mean that Marino has both the size and strength to become a force in his own end. The 21-year old has a bit of a mean streak to boot.

The difference between he and other prospects of his ilk?

Marino skates quite well for that player type. He is decent with the puck in the attacking zone and has a crisp first pass out of his own end. He does not project as power play quarterback by any stretch. But Marino does possess the raw tools to both be a stay-at-home defender in today’s NHL yet still have enough offence to be able to contribute in the other direction. Plus he’s a right shot.

But while Marino possesses a decent looking skill-set, there is a real reason why some of these kids are picked where they are. Usually, it is because they don’t possess that one specific thing that they do especially well. In order to make up for that, the player really has to be able to deliver a more-than-consistent over-all performance. And as anyone will tell you that is a tough thing to do.

Sounds like a well-rounded prospect, and right shot defensemen are always in demand. Now let’s hope Marino’s stay in the organization isn’t just a small footnote and they get him signed up in the next 13 months before his free agency.