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Zemgus Girgensons
ZGirgensons.jpg
Born January 5, 1994 (1994-01-05) (age 25)
Riga, Lativa
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 194 lb (88 kg; 13 st 12 lb)
Position Forward
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Buffalo Sabres
Rochester Americans
National team Template:Country data Latvia
NHL Draft 14th overall, 2012
Buffalo Sabres
Playing career 2012–present

Zemgus Girgensons (born on January 5, 1994) is a Latvian ice hockey player currently playing for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League (NHL).

He was selected 14th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Sabres.

With this selection, Zemgus became the highest drafted Latvian in NHL history, sixteen spots higher than previous highest selection Sandis Ozolins in 1991.

In the previous year, he was selected in the 2nd round (28th overall) in the 2011 KHL Junior Draft by the CSKA.

Playing CareerEdit

Early Playing CareerEdit

Zemgus began playing hockey in EVHS hockey school and was coached by former Dinamo Rīga player Edmunds Vasiļjevs.

He played in Latvian minor and youth leagues.

Junior Playing CareerEdit

In 2009, Zemgus moved to North America and played in the EJHL for the Green Mountain Glades.

The next season, he moved to the USHL and played for the Dubuque Fighting Saints.

In 2011, Zemgus became the USHL champion with the Dubuque Fighting Saints and he also participated in the All-Star game.

In the 2011–12 season (his last season as a junior), he was named as the captain of the Fighting Saints.

Professional\NHL CareerEdit

Zemgus entered his draft eligibility year as a projected first round draft pick. He was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the first round (14th overall).

The Sabres had already used their first round pick selecting Mikhail Grigorenko with the 12th pick, but they traded a first round (21st overall) pick (from Nashville) which Calgary used to select Mark Jankowski and second round (42nd overall) pick to move up seven spots to draft Zemgus.

Before going in to the Sabres prospects summer camp, he had committed to going to the Vermont Catamounts of the NCAA, however, he signed a professional contract with the Sabres on July 13, 2012 which forfeits his NCAA eligibility.

Zemgus began the 2012–13 season in the AHL with the Rochester Americans and had a slow start to the season.

At the beginning of 2013, he suffered an injury from a late hit by Richard Panik, however, he did finish strong, scoring three goals in the Americans' first round defeat in the AHL playoffs.

After scoring 3 goals and adding one assist in five pre-season games, Zemgus began the 2013–14 season in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres.

On October 2, 2013 (in the Sabres' season opener), he scored his first NHL goal against Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings.

Career StatisticsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2009–10 Green Mountain Glades EJHL 42 28 29 57 19 2 0 2 0 2
2010–11 Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 51 21 28 49 46 11 3 5 8 8
2011–12 Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 49 24 31 55 69 2 2 2 4 0
2012–13 Rochester Americans AHL 61 6 11 17 28 3 3 0 3 0
USHL totals 100 45 59 104 115 13 5 7 12 8
AHL totals 61 6 11 17 28 3 3 0 3 0

International StatisticsEdit

Year Team Comp GP G A Pts PIM
2010 Latvia WJC U18 6 1 1 2 2
2011 Latvia WJC D1 5 4 3 7 8
2012 Latvia WJC 6 2 0 2 6
Junior int'l Totals 17 7 4 11 16

International PlayEdit

Zemgus participated at the 2012 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships as a member of the Latvia men's national junior ice hockey team and at the 2010 IIHF World U18 Championships.

He made his national team debut in 2013 World Championships against U.S. and scored his first international goal against Slovakia.

Zemgus was also suspended for one game for spearing Branislav Mezei in first period of the match in retaliation of a hit.

On January 7, 2014 it was announced that Ted Nolan has included Zemgus for national team roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Personal LifeEdit