After a successful junior campaign in 03-04 with Kosice’s junior squad (34 points in 41 games), big Marek Bartanus (the cousin of former QMJHL star Karol Bartanus) started off the 04-05 season with Kosice’s senior team and had to fight for regular ice time on a veteran-laden squad. The big C/RW was seen as one of Slovakia’s top 2 forward prospects out of the 2005 draft year.
After 24 games on the senior squad, where he scored just 2 goals and 1 assist, Bartanus was demoted back to the junior squad, as there was no room for him on the pro squad. Bartanus put up decent numbers back in juniors with 14 goals and 14 assists in 34 games with a +35 rating. Bartanus frustrated his coaches with a lazy attitude and spotty performances.
Throughout the year, Bartanus was counted on to be one of the main forwards for Team Slovakia at various tournaments. He was given the Captain’s “C” for both the Vlad Dzurilla tournament in February and at the WJC-18.
With the captaincy on his shoulders, Bartanus faltered down the stretch and failed to provide leadership on the scoreboard and on the ice. He could only managed a single goal and assist in 6 WJC18 games and played very poor defense as well.
Bartanus’ father, an NHL agent, pushed for his son to go to the CHL like his cousin, Karol, did back in 1996. He was selected in the CHL Import Draft by Owen Sound. Owen Sound coach Michael Stothers could be the tonic he needs because he is a coach that demands a good work ethic.
Bartanus is a tantalizing player to many scouts, not only for his size, but his great skills as well. Unfortunately, he does not want to use his skills and size very often.
Skating – Bartanus has an effortless stride with good agility and balance.
Offence – Slick stick handler and good at handling the puck in heavy traffic areas…heavy wrist shot and slap shot, which he should use more often. Bartanus is good at driving the puck to the net, but often shies away from doing the dirty work in the corners to get the puck back. Lacks elite hockey sense and his passing is average…is more suitable for the wing.
Defence – His tenure with the pro team helped his defensive reads, but his attitude towards defence would lead to believe that he doesn’t care about that part of his game. Lack of intensity in the defensive zone led to his demotion and was his most glaring weakness at tournaments.
Intangibles – Incredible skill paired with a lack of discipline have turned Bartanus from a Blue Chip prospect into a Project. Bartanus’ lazy play in the defensive zone started to lead to a lot of dumb penalties. If he can ever mature mentally, he could become an impact offensive winger.