It’s that time again, the time where we all start digging into the top draft potentials and doing a bit of scouting on our own. We all love to speculate on just who might have the best fit in our team’s organization, and who our team might pick. The FanSided Sports Network is having it’s 3rd Mock Draft. The upcoming 2012 NHL Entry Draft will be held on the event’s 50th anniversary in Pittsburgh, on June 22nd and 23rd. To put you in the right frame of mind for our mock draft, here are the first 9 picks:
1. Edmonton Oilers- Neil Yakupov
2. Columbus Blue Jackets – Mikhail Grigorenko
3. Montreal Canadiens – Alex Galchenyuk
4. NY Islanders – Ryan Murray
5. Toronto Maple Leafs- Filip Forsberg
6. Anaheim Ducks – Matthew Dumba
7. Minnesota Wild – Morgan Reilly
8. Carolina Hurricanes – Teuvo Teravainen
9. Winnipeg Jets – Griffin Reinhart
Now it’s Tampa Bay’s turn. I stand up, making sure that I have my notes in hand. I straighten my tie, and climb up the stairs. I look into the audience of the many hopeful young men, who are listening anxiously to hear their name called next. Who wouldn’t want to be drafted for the chance to play in Hockey Paradise? I clear my throat and announce:
“Bolts By The Bay is pleased to select, from Riga, Latvia: Zemgus Girgensons.” Move over Stevie Y, I’ve got this. I picked him as the first round, tenth over all pick for several reasons. Who is this kid? Zemgus Girgensons is an 18 year old with a bright future. He was born on January 5, 1994 in Riga, Latvia. He’s 6’2″ and 198 pounds. He shoots left. He is a two-way forward, able to play center and right wing. He has been training in the USA, and is committed to the University of Vermont. This gives him a 4 year window for development as opposed to the standard 2 year development time. He isn’t that physical of a forward, but he won’t back down from confrontation. He will fight for the puck and fight his opponent when challenged. With the loss of Steve Downie, Tampa needs some grit.
Girgensons helped lead the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints to the Clark Cup last season. This season, wearing the ‘C’, he lead them into the playoffs. He ended this season as the team’s leader in points. He’s been consistent with being in the top 3 of his team since the beginning of his American career. His time in this season’s playoffs was cut short due to a fractured jaw. He only played 2 games. In those 2, he scored twice and got two assists for a total of 4 points. He finished the playoffs with a +/- of +2. In the regular 2011-2012 season in 79 games he scored 24 times, had 31 assists, for a total of 55 points. His +/- was +17. He racked up 69 PIMs. (As I mentioned, he doesn’t back down.) He was in the USHL All-Star game and contributed to the Latvian National Team in the World Juniors, where he scored twice in 6 games.
ETA: 2-3 Years
Compared To/Playing Style Like: Jonathan Toews and Ryan Kesler
Needs to add weight (Which can be fixed if he is truly committed.)
Foot Speed (He needs to work on building his speed after acceleration)
I think that Girgensons would be a great fit to to Tampa Bay Lightning organization. He’ll fit right in with the defensive mentality and his work ethic.