After sitting out the first 29 games of the regular season and missing the 2012 World Junior Championships with concussion-like symptoms, Halifax Mooseheads right wing Martin Frk has regained his confidence.
Frk, who has 10 goals and 17 points in 24 matches with the Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, is ranked No. 25 on NHL Central Scouting's list of the top draft eligible North American skaters.
He had 22 goals and 50 points in 62 games as a QMJHL rookie last season and 4 goals and 2 assists in three pre-season games in August before his injury.
First-year Halifax coach Dominique Ducharme, who might very well have the best draft-eligible prospect for 2013 on his roster in rookie forward Nathan MacKinnon, said Frk has been symptom-free since his return to the lineup.
"I think we should see the best of him in the playoffs," Ducharme told NHL.com. "That's where we're going to see him playing at 100 percent. I don't think his injury is playing any role in his head though.
"He's not tentative and not playing in a way not to get hit. He's 100 percent back from his concussion and he's showing no signs that it bothers him physically."
Frk, who opted to sit out the WJC and not play for his native Czech Republic since he felt he wasn't 100 percent, had 3 goals and 6 points in six games at the 2011 WJC in Buffalo. He was the youngest player to represent the Czechs at the tournament.
"I was upset I had to miss the WJC, it's a great tournament for the best players in the world," Frk told NHL.com. "But I don't want to come back 80 percent. I wanted to come back ready for sure and 100 percent so that I can practice very hard and that's why I stay out longer. I wanted to be in good shape so that I can work out hard in practices."
Prior to making the jump to the QMJHL, Frk competed for the HC Karlovy of the Czech Under-20 league, connecting for 28 goals, 27 assists and 184 penalty minutes in 39 games during the 2009-10 campaign.
The Metro Halifax reported that MacKinnon, who leads the team with 65 points (26 goals) in 47 games, was sidelined this past weekend with a fractured bone in his left thumb. He suffered the injury while blocking a shot in a victory over the Rimouski Oceanic on Feb. 16. He's a game-time decision for Tuesday's contest against the Saint John Sea Dogs.
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale