Joel Martin (G)
||Fort Worth, TX
Martin, who will be entering his 12th season of professional hockey, will be entering his fifth in Kalamazoo. There was no debate on who the most valuable player for the Kalamazoo Wings was last season. Martin rewrote the team’s ECHL record book for lowest goals per game (2.70), appearances (63), minutes (3,739), victories (31), save percentage (0.924) and saves (2,051).
Redefining his position, not only did Martin patrol the K-Wings pipes for 63 games, from November 23, 2012-February 23, 2013, he protected the crease in 39 consecutive contests. Earning the Reebok Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Week once (January 21st-Janaury 27th) last year, Martin was arguably one of the best goaltenders in the league while being the most tested.
Putting the team on his back, Martin had 11 games (a league-high), including three in a row, in which he made 40 or more saves. On four occasions last season, Martin turned aside 46 shots (January 16th Vs Elmira, February 10th @ Reading, March 6th Vs Toledo and March 23 @ Evansville) to tie his own K-Wings’ team record for most saves in a single-game.
Besides being named the K-Wings’ Kalamazoo Gazette/MLive Most Valuable Player, Martin was also proclaimed the team’s WZUU Most Popular Player during the team’s award ceremony.
In a career, that has highlights of earning the Central Hockey League Goaltender of the Year (2009-10) and being called-up to the NHL (New York Islanders), one of Martin’s biggest accomplishments occurred in a K-Wings uniform. During the 2005-06 season, Martin went 12-1 with a GAA of 1.84 and a save percentage of 0.934 en route to helping the K-Wings capture the United Hockey League’s Colonial Cup.