DETROIT – Forward Martin Frk got his first taste of the professional league during the 2013-14 season, but it was far from a walk in the park.
“There's no doubt that he's had a rough go of it in his first pro season,” said Jiri Fischer, Detroit’s director of player development. “He's struggled to make the adjustment from junior.”
After playing three seasons with the Halifax Mooseheads, Frk began his professional career during the 2013-14 season, playing in both the AHL and ECHL. He appeared in 50 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins and 15 games with the Toledo Walleye.
The forward produced three goals and 12 points in the AHL and five goals and 13 points in the ECHL.
“With so many good players in Grand Rapids this year, there just wasn't a spot for him,” Fischer said. “He didn't get a lot of ice time and eventually, he was sent to Toledo.”
But adversity is nothing new to the 20-year-old.
“I think when he first got to Halifax, all the attention was on Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin and he kind of was a little bit jealous,” Fischer said. “But he got over that and by the time they got to the Memorial Cup, he was one of their best players.”
During his first season in Halifax, Frk was the second-leading scorer with 22 goals and 28 assists. The forward was also one of the leading scorers for the Czech Republic at the 2010 World Junior Championship with five points.
Frk suffered a concussion prior to his second year with the Mooseheads, but scored 16 goals and 13 assists upon his return in December 2011. He helped Halifax advance to the QMJHL playoff semifinals, and earned five goals and six assists in 17 postseason games.
The forward was Detroit’s second-round pick in the 2012 NHL draft.
In the season following his draft, Frk was the second-leading scorer for Halifax with 35 goals and 49 assists in 56 regular-season games. During the playoffs, he scored 13 goals and added 20 assists in 17 games, and finished fourth among all scorers at the Memorial Cup with five goals and four assists in four games.