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Ben Marshall

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Position: Defense

Shoots: Left

Vitals: 5'9'' / 160 lbs.

Birthdate: August 30, 1992

Hometown: St. Paul, Minnesota

Acquired: Detroit's seventh choice (201st overall) in the 2010 draft


"He's real dynamic, an excellent skater, a good stickhandler and a good shooter. He's one of those guys who just takes the puck and goes ... It's his skating, his competitiveness and the way he makes plays. He competes, he wants to score goals, he wants to win games and he has that energy about him on the ice." — Red Wings scout David Kolb (June 2010) ... "When he's got the puck he's like Phil Housley. He sees the ice, runs the power play. One-on-one he blows past people. It'll be interesting to see how he handles the next level." — Central Souting scout Jack Barzee (June 2010).


Outstanding wheels ... Dynamic offensively ... Loves to rush the puck but makes a good first pass, too ... Great puck skills ... Hard shot ... Offense-first mentality ... Knows how to quarterback a power play ... Great vision and playmaking ability ... Competitive and energetic ... Impressive offensive skills could make him an interesting forward project if defense doesn't work out.


Extremely small for a defenseman, even in today's game ... Could pretty much skate around an entire team at the high school level, but will need to get smarter and refine his game in the USHL and beyond ... Hasn't had to worry about much on the defensive end yet but those days are over.


The Red Wings drafted Marshall in the hopes he has a little bit of Adam Almqvist's magic. He has pretty had his way at Minnesota's high school level and his first big test comes in 2010-11 when he tries his luck in the USHL with Omaha. Marshall is a big gamble, but if he gets a lot stronger and continues to develop, he could be a dynamic power-play quarterback in the future.

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4 Ben Marshall

Pluses: Everything I’m about to say needs to include two huge caveats: First, Marshall was playing in a limited-checking environment, and second, he hasn’t even completed his senior year of high school, so it’s entirely possible, if not probable, that the Wings will make their final decision about signing Marshall after he’s graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2015. And third (okay, three things), I watched him play for the first time last week.

That being said, for a player optimistically listed at 5’9” and 160 lbs (try 5’6” and 140), never mind a 17-year-old, Marshall possessed absolutely fantastic hands in terms of his ability to pass the puck—and pass it on the tape while in traffic—lug the puck up ice, he had a rather hard shot, and his skating was nothing less than great bordering on fantastic, at least technically speaking. He possesses an absolutely elite skill set, maturity beyond his years, he worked hard, hustled during every drill, showed supremely strong on-ice vision and was able to head-man the rush, slither passes to forwards hustling up the ice, do a superb job as a power play defenseman and a penalty-killer, he played a mature game in general and, until he was injured, anyway, fit fantastically on a defensive pairing with Brendan Smith during scrimmages, eating up gobs of ice time while playing alongside players three to five years older than himself. His potential is sky-high.

Minuses: See: he’s 5’6” and 140 lbs, even with his stocky build, and he is indeed quite physically weak. His skating made up for his strength issues at times as he possesses a nice combination of chippy strides to dig in and strong gliding ability, but he could only do so much in battle drills before his hustle, work ethic, and equally surprisingly good poke check gave way to physics.

Potential “upside”: It’s easy to get carried away with a player like Marshall after seeing him for only a week and witnessing him play in a limited-checking environment which was meant to showcase skills for the purposes of further developing them, but he did hold his own, if not offer brief moments of brilliance, during drills. In half a decade he could be anything from Brett Lebda to Brian Rafalski, or anywhere in between.

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