Marcel Goc, german’s top prospect

By Oliver Janz





Personality:

First steps with three years

Calw, a small town in germany between Stuttgart and the french border. And it is also the birthplace of Marcel Goc, the biggest german talent now and possible the biggest german talent ever.

He was born there in August of 1983 and start skating with just three years. Starting to play hockey comes one year later. Searching for a hockey club near Calw he find a team in Esslingen, a district of Stuttgart. There he played for the ESG Esslingen in his PeeWee- and Bantam-age till the summer of 1997. The coaches and scouts from Schwenningen saw Goc’ big talent. His smooth stick-handling and his skating are unique for a german player in his age. So, Marcel Goc joined the Schwenninger ERC youth team. Their pro team appear in the highest german hockey league, the DEL. The club isn’t a rich one and gave cheaper players and some natives a fair chance to get a spot. A good future and a goal for him.

Needing more competition

Playing in the youth team from Schwenningen helped him in his developing progress, but he need more than that level. The german youth leagues aren’t so good. Especially the 23 goals in 12 games in his second season there says: He need more competition at a higher level.

His first option is to play in the german junior league, the ‘normal’ way for a hockey player here. But he would dominate the league and can’t learn so many things. The coaches promissed that he’s to good for this league and want to give him his first ice-times against pro teams. So, his second option is to play for the Schwenninger Fire Wings in the ‘2.Liga Süd’, the south divison of the fourth german league. This team is the farmteam of DEL Wild Wings from Schwenningen.

And his last option is: Make the DEL-team in the pre-season games. In fact of his developing and his big potential the officials sign Goc to a four year contract which allow him to play in the DEL and in the farm team. Also, the coach of the pro-team, former NHL-player Rich Chernomaz will get him a chance in the pre-season games.

The last days before his 16th birthday

August, the 2nd. The Schwenninger Wild Wings starts with a training session into the new hockey season. 1.700 fans watched their favourites or the team’s new signings. And one player become both: Marcel Goc. Not so many fans have seen him before this day and Goc surprised the boys with his moves. New and fan favourite in a pro team – don’t forget his age, he’s just 15 years old.

August, the 6th. Schwenningen started the pre-season games against a suiss NLA-club, the SC Bern. Schwenningen won 5-3 and Goc shined in his first game. He hasn’t a problem to go the pace and his skating skills are more than good enough and quite better as the skating from some 30 year old players in this game. He scores his first goal for the pros with the 3-1. A cool move against former suiss nationalgoalie Renato Tosio. Playing the other pre season games on a line with the best and most experienced forwards, he benefited greatly from their experience and finished the pre-season as one of the team’s best goalscorers recording five goals in nine games. His coolness in his age is just sensational.


His first pro season

“I plan to let him play as the center in the fourth line” his coach announced at the beginning of the season. And his comment came true. Goc played for the pro team the whole season without being relegated to farmteam or junior hockey. He shots his first and only goal of the season in the 60th game of the season against Oberhausen. And the fact that this goal was a short hander, you see that Goc earn some ice-time in power play and penalty killing situation. Most of his ice time towards the end of the season. His linemates changed often. Germans Stramkowski, Oder, MacKay or foreigners Lilley, Kolesar and Harkins. Very good conditions for a german prospect. One reason is Goc’ big potential, the other is the financial situation in Schwenningen. As usual, Schwenningen does not have much money to spend on new players and so the team will increasingly rely on youngster.

As a center, Goc make the face-off’s in some situations, he won 94 from 199 opportunities to reach a 47 % average. Most of the face off specialists use their size to advantage, but his quality in those situations is the reaction time and the stick-handling which can make him to one of the best face off players.

Goc played for the german junior national teams, too. He appeared for germany at the U18 and the U20-B world championships. 16 years old, Goc can play for the U16 national team, but he didn’t appear there in this season, he ‘overjumped’ the U16, U17 and U18 to be the youngest player at the U20 tournament.

The breakthrough season

The third line was his home as the 2000-2001 season starts, but it changed in some games. Most of the time his linemates were former San Jose Sharks wing Alexej Yegorov and czech Patrik Augusta who played for the Long Beach Ice Dogs and the Washington Capitals in his last season in north america, 98-99. Especially in power play situations and late in the season ukrainian Vadim Slivchenko replace Yegorov. Slichenko is known in north america from his spells in the ECHL, last time for the Wheeling Nailers in 1999-2000. Reached the the first line, Marcel Goc gets many ice-time in all important situations and the viewers gets sometimes excited as they see his moves.

If he has a break, the show began: very fast skating into the offense zone, one move, in front of the goalie, the next move, shot – goal! In the game against Mannheim he skate past all five players from mannheim and shots a sensational goal. Not only a the best move by him, it was also his best month in his hockey career. Goc was named the player of the month for three times (season total: four times) and garnered the DEL-player of the month title. His scoring numbers goes higher, he recorded 41 points in 58 games. That makes him the third scoring leader in Schwenningen, the fifth best german scorer and the second best german-born scorer in the DEL.

He had 763 face-off attends and won 360 for 47 % average and scored three goals in power-play situations. His career highs in a game are: … two in goals, two in assists (several times in the last season) and two times three points.

National teams

He played for the german U20 at the B-world championships for the second time, but he didn’t had high scoring numbers. That changed at the U18 world championships in april. The germans played a very good tournament, beating the czech republic, sweden and the united states. Goc was germany’s top scorer with six points in six games and was named to germany’s top forward.

He played for the A-national team, too. In autumn 2001 during der ‘Deutschlandcup’ for the first time in four games. Also at the olympic qualification some month later and for the last time at the world championships in germany last month. That tournament makes him to a first rounder, he was the youngest player and highest CSB-ranked prospect there. His face off average with 70 % was the fourth best. His total games in the national team are fourteen, he didn’t record a goal or a assist, but that games gave him important international experience.

Potential

His physical game isn’t his quality, thats normally for a young player. The strength and conditioning will become better in the years. A scout said “Your strength can become better, your talent can’t.” And his talent is more than big enough to become a NHL-regualar. His control on the ice is excellent, he improves his passing skills in the pro seasons. Stick handling, technical potential and his skating is as good as the skating from russian prospects. Only his shot is (because of his strength) not hard enough at the moment. He can play the typical playmaker who search for the wing in front of the goal, but he can also score goals as a result of cool moves. He doesn’t know the word ‘nervousness’ and his willingness is very good.

The NHL Central Scouting Buro set him on place twelve in the european skater’s list.

The Goc family

Vancouver, canada has the Kariya-brothers Paul, Steve and Martin. Calw, germany has the Goc-brothers Sascha, Marcel and Nicky.

Sascha is 22 years old and was drafted in 1997 in the sixth round, overall #159 by the New Jersey Devils. The defenseman signed two way contract till 2002 with the Devils one year later. They sent him to the River Rats from AHL-team Albany where he played for two seasons before the tryoutcamp in summer 2000. Because of the contract disputes between the Devils and Scott Niedermayer Sascha Goc get the spot on the NHL-team and appeared in eleven games before they sent him down to Albany where he scored 39 points in 55 games in the rest of the season.

Nicky is a just 14 years old defender. You can’t rate him, because he is to young and didn’t appear in Schwenningen’s youth and junior teams till now. Draft eligible for 2004.

Which NHL-team will draft him?

The time: It’s sure that a NHL-team will pick him late in the first round. He could also go very early in the second round on position 30 till 40. But regarding to the last weeks he won’t be on the market in the second round. So, it’s not impossible that a team trade picks or players to be able to get him.

The teams: The LA Kings are a candidate because Andy Murray knows the german hockey and their alternate governor Philipp Anschutz has two teams in germany. According to rumours their scouts were also in Schwenningen for more than one time to watch Marcel Goc.

The New Jersey Devils should be the top candidate for drafting him. His brother is in the Devils organization and Marcel Goc wants to play with together with his brother Sascha. Also, the Devils-scouts asked Sascha Goc about his young brother. Team number three are the Dallas Stars, their doc’s came for an physical check to germany.

Team number four are the Ottawa Senators, who drafted a german player, Erich Goldmann and some other european talents like Marian Hossa in the last years. The Phoenix Coyotes could be Goc’ new team, too. Gretzky has seen him at the world championships in germany and the scouts from the Coyotes watched his teammate, forward Thomas Greilinger (the #70 on the european players CSB-Ranking) several times in the last season. So, they know Goc’ skills very good.

George Kingston, the former german national team coach, from the Atlanta Trashers said that his organization will draft a german player. That could be Goc, but i think the Trashers will draft a german talent in the late rounds. The chances that the other expansionteams Columbus or Minnesota will draft him is not so high, but it’s not impossible, too.

And last but not least the other NHL-teams with german players on their organization. The St. Louis Blues with Jochen Hecht, the San Jose Sharks with Marco Sturm and the Washington Capitals with Olaf Kölzig. Washington has drafted two other germans with Marc Seliger and Stefan Ustorf in the past. Marco Sturm can tell his Sharks many things about Goc because they played together for germany at the world championships one month ago.

Future

Goc’ longterm future is in north america, there’s no question about it. As a early draft pick his new team will test him in their tryout-camp and than are four possibilties on the spot:

#1 The officials say that he is good enough for the NHL right now and want him in their team next season. This could be happen – he can make the NHL, but this year come to early for him.

#2 One or two seasons in a junior team, in the WHL or in the OHL. Remember the CHL Import Draft in 1997, OHL-team Kingston selected Marco Sturm on position 21. But Sturm make the Sharks-team in the camp some weeks later. The good thing for Goc on this possibility is that he can learn to live and play in north america, the bad thind is that he must play against juniors after his two pro years.

#3 They sent him down to the AHL where he can learn one season in their farm team. That’s the better way as playing in a junior league. He also can learn to live and play in north america, there’s only one difference: all this on the pro level.

#4 He stay in germany for a minimum of one season. The other german’s do the same thing, his brother Sascha for example. This could help him in his developing, because he’ll surely get many ice-time in all important situations in the next season. Goc is still under contract in Schwenningen till 2003 and the coaches plans with him in the first line for the next season. That seems to be the best choice.

His self confidence and motivation are big enough to become a good player in the NHL in some years. An early draft pick will get a chance in the NHL and it’s Goc can take it as it comes. The last words came from german national team coach Hans Zach “We lose a player, but we win an idol for the young germans.” It’s your turn, Marcel Goc.

Personality:

Name: Marcel Goc

Jersey: #7

Center, shots left

Height: 6′

Weight: 188 lbs.

Born: 8/24/1983 in Calw, Germany

CSB-Rank: #12

Career Stats:

   

Regualar Season

Stats*

Season

Team

League

GP

G

A

PTS

PM

Sh

PP

SH

F%

+/-

1998-99

Schwenninger ERC

GER youth

12

23

10

33

12

n/a

1999-00

Schwenninger W. Wings

DEL

62

1

4

5

6

42

0

1

47

-10

2000-01

Schwenninger W. Wings

DEL

58

13

28

41

12

98

3

0

47

-5

In german national teams:

Year

Competition

GP

G

A

PTS

PM

Sh

PP

SH

F%

+/-

1999-00

U20 B-WJC

5

1

1

2

2

n/a

2000

U18 WJC

6

2

1

3

10

n/a

2001

U20 B-WJC

5

0

1

1

2

12

0

0

63

+1

2001

U18 WJC

6

2

4

6

0

23

1

0

62

-2

2001

OCQ

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

+1

2001

WJC

7

0

0

0

2

4

0

0

70

-4


*Sh = Shots on goal, PP = Power play goals, SH = Short handed goals, F% = Face off’s won in %

Note: You can write your question, opinions or anything else about Goc in a comment at the end of this site or in a e-mail. You can post a comment on the prospect board or hf’s german board, too. And i’ve created a survey at the german board about Goc’ drafted chances.

© Oliver Janz