This draft report is on Dubuque Fighting Saints center Zemgus Girgensons. Girgensons is a big physical center with some offensive upside. A native of Latvia, he spent the last two years in the USHL. He is committed to Vermont for the 2012-13 season. Tom Gagliardi has already made it known that the Stars want to build up depth at center. Girgensons could be right in their wheelhouse at 13.
Center / Dubuque Fighting Saints / USHL
January 05 1994
Hometown: Riga - Latvia
|2010-11 Dubuque Fighting Saints
|2011-12 Dubuque Fighting Saints
|2011-12 - Latvia U20
Final CSS North American Rank: 18th
Craig Button: 16th
Hockey Prospectus: 14th
NHL.com consensus: 18th
What do they say about him?
Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus: (Yes, this is long. But it's worth every second you spend reading it.)
Girgensons had a quality second USHL season and has a good chance to be the highest draft selection to ever come from Latvia. Girgensons is a great do-it-all player who can create offense from his natural skill and still be a fan favorite because of his intangibles. Girgensons is an above-average skater with a technically sound stride and is pretty agile in tight spaces. His top speed isn't overly dangerous but still good meaning he will be able to skate with pros. Girgensons is a dangerous puck handler who I'd say is above-average to plus in that area as he can certainly make players miss and at times he can be a pretty flashy player. At other times, though, Girgensons can be a straight-ahead gritty type of power forward who drives the net, gets in people's faces after the whistle, and will lay out big hit after big hit. He also shows a diligent work ethic at both ends, and is very responsible and smart defensively for his age, which has garnered trust from his coach to play him in a lot of tough defensive minutes. Girgensons is pretty aware with the puck with a pass-first mentality. While I haven't seen high-end playmaking from him, he can certainly move the puck around and has pretty good vision.
Poised to become the first Latvian-born prospect to be a first-round NHL draft choice. There's no worry about him adjusting to North American life as he's played in the U.S. since he was 15. Slated to attend the University of Vermont next season. Strengths: A smart, all-around player with size and skating ability. Good hands, heavy shot, tough and competitive, can play any style of game. A safe pick, he will play in the NHL. Weaknesses: Some scouts question his offensive instincts and ability to create scoring opportunities. May not be a top-two center at the NHL level. NHL upside: Has been compared to Colton Gillies, but with more offensive upside. The type of player that will help an NHL club win a playoff series by playing a tough, two-way game. May have the intangibles to be a top two centre.
I'm not sure what "may have the intangibles to be a top two centre" means, but other than that he sounds like a solid prospect. TSN comping him to Colton Gillies is also less than encouraging too, really. Ignoring those tidbits though shows a really solid prospect. The Stars struggle in the transition game, and center is a very important position defensively. A player like Girgensons, if he developed, could make a large impact down the road.