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2012 NHL Draft Profile Prospect: Zemgus Girgensons

by Greg Fernandez / Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pittsburgh Penguins and CONSOL Energy Center will be hosting the 2012 NHL Draft on June 22nd and 23rd. In the days leading up to the event, will be putting the spotlight on some of the best and brightest draft-eligible prospects.

Position: Center
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 198 pounds
Shoots: Left
Born: January 5, 1994
Born in: Riga, LVA
Played the 2011-12 season with: Dubuque Fighting Saints (United States Hockey League)

2009-10 GREEN MT EJHL 23 11 17 28
2010-11 DUBUQUE USHL 51 21 28 49
2011-12 DUBUQUE USHL 49 24 31 55

NHL Central Scouting: No. 18 among North American skaters
The Hockey News: No. 16
International Scouting Services: No. 20
McKeen’s Hockey: No. 15
Red Line Report: No. 19
TSN: No. 16

NHL Comparison:
Ryan Kessler
NHL Potential: “He has the requisite skills and makeup to be a steady top-six NHL performer.” – McKeen’s Hockey

When it comes to countries that produce great hockey players, Latvia usually doesn’t enter the conversation as a hockey hotbed. Center Zemgus Girgensons is looking to put Latvia on the map as he attempts to become the first Latvian-born player selected in the first round of an NHL Draft. The “Latvian Locomotive” was named captain of the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the United States Hockey League at the beginning of the 2011-12 season and didn’t disappoint, leading the team in goals (24) and points (55), while also tallying 31 assists. Known for his in-your-face style of play, Girgensons played for Latvia at the 2011-12 World Junior Championship and is committed to play for the Vermont Catamounts next year.

“Girgensons is the type of player you would love to have on your team, but hate to play against. His physical brand of hockey, work ethic and hunger for the puck is unrivalled by any player in the USHL and arguably his draft class. Girgensons plays the game the only way he knows how – in your face and full throttle – as he goes through players rather than around them… The opposition has to constantly be alert when he is on the ice, as he will hit with authority and can also burn a team on the scoresheet with his hands.”
-McKeen’s Hockey

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