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Bio Blast: Elvis Merzlikins

by Brad Friedman / Columbus Blue Jackets

With the 76th overall selection in the 2014 NHL draft, the Columbus Blue Jackets selected Latvian goaltender Elvis Merzlikins.

Merzlikins has spent five seasons with the HC Lugano organization, playing in 124 games for the Latvian-based club’s U-17, U-18, U-20 and senior squads.

The 20-year old goaltender has also represented his home nation in 10 different international competitions. Most recently, Merzlikins posted a 2.36 GAA during the 2014 World Junior Championships where his team captured the silver medal.

The butterfly-goalie stands at six-foot-three, allowing him to cover the net very well. Scouts have also touted his stick-handling and aggression when facing shooters. Coming into the draft, Central Scouting ranked Merzlikins as the sixth-best European goaltender in the 2014 draft class.

Merzlikins is expected to play for Lugano next season.

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