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Porter Martone is making great strides as an Ontario Hockey League draft pick.
A six-foot-three, 180-pound right-winger born in late 2006 (October 26), Martone was selected in the first round, fifth overall, by the Sarnia Sting on Day 1 of the League’s Priority Draft. ‘OHL in 2022. .
Martone, who had 41 goals, 63 assists, 104 points in 53 games while starring for the Toronto Jr. Canadians of the Greater Toronto Hockey League during the 2021-22 season, is featured in a OHL scouting report as “the type of player you win with.” He is of high character and intelligence. He can play any style and has a very serious and competitive side to his game, but he has also scored some great goals. His skating is good and his puck skills as well as his shooting and clearing are in a league of their own. He shoots the puck better than a lot of junior players already. He plays a heavy game and is a top player who will make an impact at the OHL level.
While Martone hails from Peterborough and played minor hockey in his hometown before moving to the GTHL with the aforementioned Toronto Jr. Canadiens last fall, he has a Sault Ste. Mary by his side.
He is the son of Sault Ste. Mary native Mike Martone, former OHL hard rock defenseman with the Peterborough Petes. The elder Martone was drafted by the Petes from the Midget AAA Soo Legion in the third round of the 1994 OHL Priority Draft.
Not only did the elder Martone become captain of the Petes, but he scored one of the most important goals in franchise history when, on May 5, 1996, he scored the game-winning goal in overtime to give Peterborough a stunning 8-7 win over the Guelph Storm in Game 7 of the OHL Championship Series. Ironically, Martone’s game-winning goal in overtime came against Guelph goaltender Danny Cloutier, a fellow Sault Ste. Marie minor hockey product.
Martone then played four years at the minor professional level after being a fourth-round National Hockey League draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres. He then played at St. Francis Xavier University, became a teacher and settled down to raise a family in Peterborough, the hometown of his wife, Angela.
Going back to young Martone and the fact that he was Sarnia’s first pick in the OHL draft this year, Sting general manager Dylan Seca had a lot to say about his top pick.
“Competitiveness, skill, character – he has it all,” Seca said of Martone. “Secretly, he was the player we hoped would be there. He’s the kid we wanted from the start.
“When you have the opportunity to sign a player of that nature, it’s rare,” Seca told Postmedia. “Porter is still a young child. We’re not putting a lot of pressure on him but we’re really pleased with the dynamic ability he has.
“The outing he has – he’s going to score,” Seca said of praise for Martone. “He can play heavy if he needs to. His habits and character are honestly off the charts. It is a premium leader.
“All of the background work and all of the character work that we’ve done, it comes across as a can’t-miss type prospect,” Seca said. “We are lucky enough to have been able to have him.”