30-Year-Old Defenseman – Los Angeles Kings
Alec Martinez Contract Information:
Signed a six-year, $24 extension with the Kings in December of 2014.
Martinez (lower body) is ready to return to game action, Curtis Zupke of the Los Angeles Times reports, adding that the veteran defenseman was spotted taking line rushes with Jake Muzzin ahead of Saturday's home match with the Sabres.
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Alec Martinez: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
It took him seven years, but Martinez finally played nearly a full NHL campaign last season, appearing in 78 games and accordingly setting a new career high with 31 points. True to form, though, he ended up missing the very end of the season and the playoffs to a shoulder injury that required surgery. However, the 29-year-old blueliner is expected to be ready for training camp, so he’s set to bring his combination of toughness and power-play ability to the Kings’ second defensive unit once again. The question, as always, will be whether Martinez can avoid injury; if he puts in another full season, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him better last season’s stats. He’s already hit double-digit goals in two of the last three years, and Martinez hasn’t even had the chance to play a premier role yet.
The 28-year-old Martinez has had a full career of highlights, despite playing 50-plus games in a season only four times. After scoring the Stanley Cup-winning goal in 2013-14 and amasing 10 points in 26 games during the Kings' postseason run, Martinez was pressed into a bigger role in 2014-15 following the October arrest of Slava Voynov. Playing an average of 19:56 per game -- a four-minute bump in ice time from the season prior -- Martinez saw his assist total jump from 11 to 16, but a depressed shooting percentage resulted in him finishing with 22 points.There's still room for growth in Martinez's offensive game, though he'll make more of a mark as an all-around performer than a fantasy star due to his ability to block shots and kill penalties.
Martinez really picked up his game as the season wore on, picking up points in 14 of his last 17 games after recording just a lone assist in his first 29 games. And he carried that into the postseason where he netted the series' winners in both the Conference and Stanley Cup Finals. He's going to need to shoot more if he wants to crack double digits again as his 13.9 percent shooting percentage is awfully high for a blueliner. He should top his point total from last year if he can smooth out the dips, but look for his goal production to gravitate back to the norm along with his shooting percentage.
Martinez has struggled to bring his offensive talent to the NHL level and has been surpassed by both Jake Muzzin and Slava Voynov now. He's still a very valuable piece on the Kings' back end, but Muzzin and Voynov's progress may limit his ice time going forward.
Martinez was paired with Matt Greene for most of the season on the team's bottom pairing on the backend, chipping in a dozen points (six goals, six assists) in 51 games. He has the ability to man the point on the top power play if something were to happen to Drew Doughty, but for now will see limited time on the team's second unit. He could be a sneaky source of points in an expanded role, but figures to see most of his time on the team's third pair again this year.
Martinez was a regular presence on the Kings' blue line last year and responded with 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in his rookie campaign. He won't get enough power-play time with Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson around to warrant much value in most formats.
Martinez spent the bulk of his season at the AHL, registering 30 points in 55 games for Manchester. The Kings are loaded with defensemen and Martinez doesn't really do anything to stand out among the crowd. He'll see some time with the Kings when injuries dictate again this year but doesn't bring much to the table from a fantasy perspective.
Martinez is a smooth skating defensemen who needs to add a little bulk to play in the NHL. He posted 23 points (8 G, 15 A) in 72 games in his first season as a pro in the AHL. He'll spend most of the season in the AHL but could see time in LA when injuries dictate.