2008-09: James Martin had a difficult rookie season in the WHL. He had only four assists and a minus ten rating in 31 games for the Swift Current Broncos before being traded to the Kootenay Ice on January 10, 2009 with Christian Magnus and two 2010 draft picks for John Negrin (CGY) and Michael Stickland. Martin was unable to contribute offensively along with a minus eight rating in 25 regular games and a minus three rating in four Playoff games with the Ice.
2009-10: Martin improved his offensive game in his sophomore season in the WHL with the Kootenay Ice. He scored eight goals (three on the power play) along with 11 assists and a plus two rating in 66 WHL games. The offensive defenseman scored one goal, one assist and a minus two rating in six playoff games with the Ice.
2010-11: Martin had an excellent third season in the WHL for the Ice while improving his overall game. He scored 11 goals (five on the power play) along with 18 assists and a plus 18 rating while taking 68 PIMs (six fighting majors) in 68 games. The Kootenay Ice would capture the WHL championship but lost in the semi-finals of the 2011 Memorial Cup to the Mississauga St. Michael Majors. Martin was able to contribute six assists with a plus ten rating in 19 WHL playoff games and provided solid defensive play at the Memorial Cup. He impressed the Calgary Flames enough to get an invitation to their summer 2011 Development camp and the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton.
2011-12: Signed to a three-year entry-level contract by Calgary in September after attending the Flames' training camp, Martin struggled to make the jump from junior hockey to the AHL as a 20-year-old. After getting off to a slow start, he suffered a mid-season thumb injury and was never really able to establish a presence in the Abbotsford lineup. He appeared in 28 games for the Heat and was minus-13 with 23 penalty minutes and scored 2 goals with 1 assist. Abbotsford finished second in the West Division and reached the second round of the AHL playoffs. Martin was with the Heat during the playoffs but did play in any games.
Martin is a solidly built puck moving defenseman who plays responsibly in all three zones of the rink. He has a very good hockey IQ along with a strong character while being a leader on and off the ice. The offensively skilled defenseman can play the power play with a strong accurate shot from the blue line and he has continued to improve his defensive game in each of the last two years. Martin will need to improve his physicality and positioning in the defensive zone while adjusting to the speed of the game at the professional level.
With the NHL lockout causing a surplus of players at the AHL level, Martin was assigned to start the season in the ECHL with the Utah Grizzlies. After suffering injuries last season, the mobile defender needs to stay healthy and bring more offense to his game. He could be the first call-up to the Heat should a player struggle or the team need an injury replacement on their defense corps.