By Eldon MacDonald
104. Martin Gernat - “The Friendly Giant” - D – Slovakia
Vitals: Size - 6’5”, 187 lb.; Shoots left; Born 11-Apr-93
Team: HC Kosice, Slovakia U20
2010-11 Stats: 25-3-12-15-18 + U18 - 6-0-1-1-2-(+0)
104 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
182 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
650 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (106th European skater)
122 - Edmonton Oilers
Beat him up now while you can because this scrawny 6’5 187 lb. weakling is going to be a man someday. He kind of reminds me of going to see 6’7 Brett Ponich in his first (or close to first) Dub game, it was like going to the zoo just after a baby giraffe was born - tall, gangly and a little awkward but you knew he would find his way in a couple of months. Well, Gernat is more like a couple of months than a newborn but he still has that gangly look to him.
Gernat’s way to this side of the Atlantic was paved by the success of last year’s 6’5 Slovak, Edmonton Oiler prospect Martin Marincin. Gernat is no where near as developed as Marincin was last year but he has shown enough size, mobility, hands, vision and skating to make him a possibility in the 3rd or a probability in the 4th. There is enough of a strong base of size and skills that the strength and defense can come later.