Easton native John Marino is excited to start the upcoming development camp of the Edmonton Oilers – and it’s not just because they secured a generational talent in No. 1 overall pick Connor McDavid.
The Catholic Memorial student and product of the South Shore Kings USPHL squad wasn’t all that surprised to hear the Oilers call his name with the 154th overall selection in the sixth round of this weekend’s NHL Draft. The smooth-skating defenseman had been in contact with Edmonton’s scouting staff throughout the pre-draft process and at the NHL Combine.
“I talked to them a little, so I had a good idea that they might be interested,” Marino told ESPN Boston on Sunday. “They were one of the teams that I talked to most often, too.”
The Oilers were one of nine teams to interview Marino at the Combine, in addition to handful of teams that had spoken to him previously.
“I didn’t work out for them, but when I went to the Combine, they were one of the teams that I talked with and I thought it went really well,” Marino said.
Marino has his options ahead of him. Ranked 63rd by NHL Central Scouting’s final report among North American skaters, Marino’s rights are held by the Chicago Steel of the USHL. A Harvard commit, it’s expected that Marino will join the Crimson for the 2016-17 season.
But, for now, Marino’s tried simply to enjoy the ride of the last 24 hours.
“It was a great experience, a great atmosphere,” Marino said of hearing his name at the Draft in Sunrise, Fla. “There were fans everywhere. I’ll never forget it.”
He added when looking ahead to attending development camp, “I’m just excited for it and I’m ready to get going. I’m just happy to go there and show them what I’m capable of. I just want to improve each year at development camp and have a great year ahead. It’s just about enjoying the experience, too.”