Rihards Bukarts

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Rihards Bukarts
Born (1995-12-31) 31 December 1995 (age 21)
Jūrmala, Latvia
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Forward
Shoots Right
ELH team
Former teams
HC Zlin
Kapitan Stupino
HK Riga
Springfield Thunderbirds
National team  Latvia
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 2009–present

Rihards Bukarts (born 31 December 1995 in Jūrmala, Latvia) is a Latvian professional ice hockey forward. He is currently playing for HC Zlin in the Czech Extraliga (ELH). Bukarts was selected 9th overall in the 2012 KHL Junior Draft by the Dinamo Riga.[1] With the selection Bukarts became the highest drafted Latvian in KHL history, 4 spots higher than his brother Roberts Bukarts in 2009.

Playing career[edit]

Bukarts is youngest player ever who score in MHL on 15 September 2011 [2] On 2 July 2012 Rihards Bukarts signed with Dinamo Riga two-way contract.[3] Bukarts was selected 7th overall in the 2013 CHL Import Draft by Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL). [4]

Bukarts was the highest drafted player in Wheat Kings history. In the summer of 2013, Bukarts broke contract with Dinamo Riga and left for North America to play for the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League. He officially signed a contract on 19 July 2013, with the major junior team.[5] In his first season in North America in 2013–14, Bukarts in 65 games scored (28) goals (WHL Most Goals by Rookie) and gave 26 assists.

In the following 2014–15 season, he featured in 62 games, scoring (33) goals in totalling the most goals scored by a European player in teams history (single season record) as well as adding 41 assists. On February, 8 2015, Bukarts was named-Denny's WHL Player of the Week. In the post-season, Bukarted helped the Wheat Kings reach the WHL finals, suffering defeat against the Kelowna Rockets. In 16 play off games, Bukarts scored 4 goals and 18 points.

Undrafted, Bukarts accepteed a try-out over the summer to attend the 2015 NHL training camp of the Edmonton Oilers. After his release from the Oilers, Bukarts returned to the Wheat Kings for the 2015–16 season before he was traded to the Portland Winterhawks on 29 October 2015.[6] On December, 14 2015, Rihards Bukarts was named 2nd time in his career as the WHL player of the Week. In 55 games with the Winterhawks, Bukarts amassed 53 points. At the conclusion of his major junior career, Bukarts joined the Portland Pirates of the AHL, an affiliate to the Florida Panthers, on an amateur try-out basis to complete the season. He recorded an assist in a solitary game.

Bukarts attended the Panthers rookie camp after signing a one-year deal with the Panthers inaugural AHL affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds. After attending Florida's main training camp, before he was re-assigned to begin the 2016–17 season with the Thunderbirds. He split the season between Springfield and the ECHL with the Manchester Monarchs.

As a free agent in the following off-season, Bukarts returned to Europe in agreeing to a one-year contract with HC Zlin of the Czech Extraliga on August 21, 2017.[7]

International play[edit]

Bukarts participated at the 2012 and 2013 IIHF World U18 Championships and also 2013 IIHF World U20 Championships he was a member of the Latvia men's national junior ice hockey team. He finished with the most Penalty Minutes in the Tournament ]].

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2008–09 SK Saga LHL 2 14 9 5 14  —  —  —  —  —  —
2009–10 SK Riga 18 LHL U18 9 7 11 18 2  —  —  —  —  —
2010–11 SK Saga LHL 2 19 19 30 49 10  —  —  —  —  —
2011–12 Kapitan Stupino MHL 47 11 11 22 22  —  —  —  —  —
2011–12 SK Saga LHL 2 11 28 31 59 12  —  —  —  —  —
2012–13 HK Riga MHL 62 18 17 35 44 3 0 0 0 0
2012–13 HK Juniors Riga LHL  —  —  —  —  — 2 0 1 1 0
2013–14 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 65 28 26 54 50 9 0 4 4 0
2014–15 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 62 33 41 74 21 16 4 14 18 8
2015–16 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 10 5 4 9 11  —  —  —  —  —
2015–16 Portland Winterhawks WHL 55 26 27 53 24 4 2 1 3 6
2015–16 Portland Pirates AHL 1 0 1 1 0  —  —  —  —  —
2016–17 Springfield Thunderbirds AHL 14 0 3 3 4  —  —  —  —  —
2016–17 Manchester Monarchs ECHL 37 16 17 33 26  —  —  —  —  —
AHL totals 15 0 4 4 4

International[edit]

Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
2012 Latvia WJC U18 6 0 5 5 2
2013 Latvia WJC U18 6 1 1 2 0
2013 Latvia WJC 6 0 1 1 4
2017 Latvia WC 7 0 3 3 2
Junior totals 18 1 7 8 6
Senior totals 7 0 3 3 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dinamo" draftē Bukartu un Golovkovu" (in Latvian). Sportacentrs.com. 26 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "Rihards Bukarts gūst pirmos vārtus MHL čempionātā" (in Latvian). Delfi.lv. 16 September 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Dinamo" paraksta līgumu ar Rihardu Bukartu" (in Latvian). Sportacentrs.com. 2 July 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "CHL draftā ar 7. numuru izvēlēts Rihards Bukarts" (in Latvian). Nra.lv. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Rihards Bukarts un Golovkovs karjeru turpinās Kanādā" (in Latvian). Tvnet.lv. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "Winterhawks acquire Rihards Bukarts". Portland Winterhawks. 2015-10-29. Retrieved 2015-10-29. 
  7. ^ "Bukarts agrees to terms with Zlin". Instagram. 2017-08-21. Retrieved 2017-08-21. 

External links[edit]