Zemgus Girgensons

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Zemgus Girgensons
Zemgus Girgensons 2013-10-05.JPG
Born (1994-01-05) January 5, 1994 (age 20)
Riga, Latvia
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 194 lb (88 kg; 13 st 12 lb)
Position Forward
Shoots Left
NHL team Buffalo Sabres
National team  Latvia
NHL Draft 14th overall, 2012
Buffalo Sabres
Playing career 2012–present

Zemgus Girgensons (born January 5, 1994) is a Latvian ice hockey player currently playing for the Buffalo Sabres of the NHL. Girgensons was selected 14th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Sabres.[1][2] With this selection Girgensons became the highest drafted Latvian in NHL history,[3] 16 spots higher than previous highest selection Sandis Ozoliņš in 1991.[1] In the previous year Girgensons was selected in the 2nd round (28th overall) in the 2011 KHL Junior Draft by the CSKA.[4]

Playing career[edit]

Girgensons began playing hockey in EVHS hockey school and was coached by former Dinamo Rīga player Edmunds Vasiļjevs.[5] He played in Latvian minor and youth leagues.[6]

Junior career[edit]

In 2009 Girgensons moved to North America and played in the EJHL for the Green Mountain Glades.[7] The next season Girgensons moved to the USHL and played for the Dubuque Fighting Saints.[8] In 2011 he became the USHL champion with the Dubuque Fighting Saints,[9] and he also participated in the All-Star game.[10] In the 2011–12 season, his last as a junior, Girgensons was named as the captain of the Fighting Saints.[11]

Professional career[edit]

Girgensons entered his draft eligibility year as a projected first round draft pick. He was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the first round, 14th overall. The Sabres had already used their first round pick selecting Mikhail Grigorenko with the 12th pick, but traded[12] a first round (21st overall) pick (from Nashville), which Calgary used to select Mark Jankowski, and 2nd round (42nd overall) pick to move up seven spots to draft Girgensons.[12] Before going in to the Sabres prospects summer camp, Girgensons had committed to going to the Vermont Catamounts of the NCAA;[13] however, he signed a professional contract with the Sabres on July 13, 2012, which forfeits his NCAA eligibility.[14][15]

Girgensons began the 2012–13 season in the AHL with the Rochester Americans. He had a slow start to the season and at the beginning of 2013, he suffered an injury from a late hit by Richard Pánik.[16] However, he did finish strong, scoring three goals in the Americans first round defeat in the AHL playoffs.[17]

After scoring 3 goals and adding one assist in five pre-season games, Girgensons began the 2013–14 season in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres. He scored his first NHL goal in Sabres' season opener against Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings October 2, 2013.[18]

Girgensons was a runaway favorite in fan voting for the 60th National Hockey League All-Star Game, buoyed in large part by votes from his native Latvia.[19]

International play[edit]

Girgensons participated at the 2012 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships as a member of the Latvia men's national junior ice hockey team and at the 2010 IIHF World U18 Championships. He made his national team debut in 2013 World Championships against US and scored his first international goal against Slovakia. He also was suspended for one game for spearing Branislav Mezei in first period of the match in retaliation of a hit.[20][21][22]

On January 7, 2014 it was announced that Ted Nolan had included Girgensons on his national team roster for Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.[23] Girgensons scored his first Olympic goal in game 3 versus Sweden, scoring a power-play goal against Henrik Lundqvist.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Girgensons comes from a hockey family. His father Aldis Girgensons played as a defenseman for Dinamo Riga.

Awards[edit]

USHL
Other

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2009–10 Green Mountain Glades EJHL 42 28 29 57 19 2 0 2 0 2
2010–11 Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 51 21 28 49 46 11 3 5 8 8
2011–12 Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 49 24 31 55 69 2 2 2 4 0
2012–13 Rochester Americans AHL 61 6 11 17 28 3 3 0 3 0
2013–14 Buffalo Sabres NHL 70 8 14 22 14
NHL totals 70 8 14 22 14

International[edit]

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2010 Latvia WJC18 9th 6 1 1 2 2
2011 Latvia WJC-D1 11th 5 4 3 7 8
2012 Latvia WJC 9th 6 2 0 2 6
2013 Latvia WC 11th 5 1 0 1 0
2014 Latvia OG 8th 5 1 1 2 2
2014 Latvia WC 11th 6 2 0 2 29
Junior totals 17 7 4 11 16
Senior totals 16 4 1 5 31

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Girgensonu ar 14. numuru izvēlas Bufalo "Sabres"" (in Latvian). Sportacentrs.com. June 23, 2012. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  2. ^ NHL. "Buffalo sabres 2012 draft selections". nhl.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  3. ^ RYAN O’LEARY (2013-03-22). "Pursuit of passion". iihf.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  4. ^ EliteProspects. "2011 KHL Draft". eliteprospects.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  5. ^ Jaunās Jūrmalas Ziņas (2013-03-01). "Edmunds Vasiļjevs: "Mūsu hokeja skola ir arī valstiska lieta"" (in Latvian). jjz.lv. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  6. ^ Latvijas Hokeja fedrācija. "Spēlētāja dati" (in Latvian). lhf.lv. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  7. ^ EliteProspects. "Green Mountain Glades 2009/10 roster". eliteprospects.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  8. ^ EliteProspects. "Dubuque Fighting Saints 2010/11 roster". eliteprospects.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  9. ^ USHL. "Clark Cup Champions". ushl.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  10. ^ USHL. "USHL Names CCM Midseason All-Stars". ushl.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  11. ^ Our Sports Central (2011-09-07). "Fighting Saints Open Camp, Name Captains". oursportscentral.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  12. ^ a b Corey Masisak. "http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=635729". nhl.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  13. ^ Mike G. Morreale (2011-11-01). "Girgensons talks future plans ... in Vermont". nhl.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  14. ^ Buffalo Sabres (2013-07-13). "GIRGENSONS, SABRES AGREE TO TERMS ON ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACT". nhl.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  15. ^ Mike Halford (2013-07-13). "Report: Buffalo first-rounder Girgensons passes on school, will sign with Sabres". nbcsports.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  16. ^ Mike Harrington (2013-01-14). "Girgensons knocked out of Amerks' lineup, likely with concussion". buffalonews.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  17. ^ John Vogl (2013-05-02). "Girgensons impressive, but Amerks get swept from playoffs". buffalonews.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  18. ^ "Girgensons Scores in Opening Night Loss". 2013-10-03. Retrieved 2013-10-03. 
  19. ^ McLaren, Ian (December 9, 2014). Sabres' Girgensons dominating All-Star voting after 3 weeks. The Score. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  20. ^ IIHF (2013-05-05). "Game Lineup". iihf.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  21. ^ IIHF (2013-05-09). "Game Summary". iihf.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  22. ^ IIHF (2013-05-13). "Girgensons suspended one game". iihf.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  23. ^ LHF (2014-01-07). "Nolans nosauc sastāvu Olimpiskajām spēlēm" (in Latvian). lhf.lv. Retrieved 2014-01-08. 
  24. ^ Matt Calamia (2014-02-15). "Lundqvist, Sweden Stay Perfect With Win Over Latvia". nhl.com. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Mikhail Grigorenko
Buffalo Sabres first round draft pick
2012
Succeeded by
Rasmus Ristolainen
Preceded by
Laura Ikauniece
Latvian Rising Sportspersonality of the Year
2013
Succeeded by
Jeļena Ostapenko