Zemgus Girgensons
Zemgus Girgensons 2013-10-05.jpg

With the Sabres in 2013
Born January 5 1994 (1994-01-05) (age 26),
Riga, Latvia
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
194 lb (88 kg; 13 st 12 lb)
Position Forward
Shoots Left
NHL team Buffalo Sabres
Ntl. team Flag of Latvia Latvia
NHL Draft 14th overall, 2012
Buffalo Sabres
Playing career 2012–present

Zemgus Girgensons (born January 5, 1994) is a Latvian ice hockey player currently playing for the Buffalo Sabres of the NHL. Girgensons was selected 14th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Sabres.[1][2] With this selection Girgensons became the highest drafted Latvian in NHL history,[3] 16 spots higher than previous highest selection Sandis Ozoliņš in 1991.[1] In the previous year Girgensons was selected in the 2nd round (28th overall) in the 2011 KHL Junior Draft by the CSKA.[4]

Playing careerEdit

Girgensons began playing hockey in EVHS hockey school and was coached by former Dinamo Rīga player Edmunds Vasiļjevs.[5] He played in Latvian minor and youth leagues.[6]

Junior careerEdit

In 2009 Girgensons moved to North America and played in the EJHL for the Green Mountain Glades.[7] The next season Girgensons moved to the USHL and played for the Dubuque Fighting Saints.[8] In 2011 he became the USHL champion with the Dubuque Fighting Saints,[9] and he also participated in the All-Star game.[10] In the 2011–12 season, his last as a junior, Girgensons was named as the captain of the Fighting Saints.[11]

Professional careerEdit

Girgensons 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 traded[12] a first round (21st overall) pick (from Nashville), which Calgary used to select Mark Jankowski, and 2nd round (42nd overall) pick to move up seven spots to draft Girgensons.[12] Before going in to the Sabres prospects summer camp, Girgensons had committed to going to the Vermont Catamounts of the NCAA;[13] however, he signed a professional contract with the Sabres on July 13, 2012, which forfeits his NCAA eligibility.[14][15]

Girgensons began the 2012–13 season in the AHL with the Rochester Americans. He had a slow start to the season and at the beginning of 2013, he suffered an injury from a late hit by Richard Pánik.[16] However, he did finish strong, scoring three goals in the Americans first round defeat in the AHL playoffs.[17]

After scoring 3 goals and adding one assist in five pre-season games, Girgensons began the 2013–14 season in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres. He scored his first NHL goal in Sabres' season opener against Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings October 2, 2013.[18]

International playEdit

Girgensons 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 US and scored his first international goal against Slovakia. He also was suspended for one game for spearing Branislav Mezei in first period of the match in retaliation of a hit.[19][20][21]

On January 7, 2014 it was announced that Ted Nolan had included Girgensons on his national team roster for Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.[22] Girgensons scored his first Olympic goal in game 3 versus Sweden, scoring a power-play goal against Henrik Lundqvist.[23]

Personal lifeEdit

Girgensons comes from a hockey family. His father Aldis Girgensons played as a defenseman for Dinamo Riga.

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

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
2013–14 Buffalo Sabres NHL 70 8 14 22 14
NHL totals 70 8 14 22 14


Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2010 Latvia WJC18 9th 6 1 1 2 2
2011 Latvia WJC-D1 11th 5 4 3 7 8
2012 Latvia WJC 9th 6 2 0 2 6
2013 Latvia WC 11th 5 1 0 1 0
2014 Latvia OG 8th 5 1 1 2 2
2014 Latvia WC 11th 6 2 0 2 29
Junior totals 17 7 4 11 16
Senior totals 16 4 1 5 31


  1. 1.0 1.1 Girgensonu ar 14. numuru izvēlas Bufalo "Sabres" (Latvian). (June 23, 2012). Retrieved on June 23, 2012.
  2. NHL. Buffalo sabres 2012 draft selections. Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  3. RYAN O’LEARY (2013-03-22). Pursuit of passion. Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  4. EliteProspects. 2011 KHL Draft. Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  5. Jaunās Jūrmalas Ziņas (2013-03-01). Edmunds Vasiļjevs: "Mūsu hokeja skola ir arī valstiska lieta" (Latvian). Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  6. Latvijas Hokeja fedrācija. Spēlētāja dati (Latvian). Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  7. EliteProspects. Green Mountain Glades 2009/10 roster. Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  8. EliteProspects. Dubuque Fighting Saints 2010/11 roster. Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  9. USHL. Clark Cup Champions. Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  10. USHL. USHL Names CCM Midseason All-Stars. Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  11. Our Sports Central (2011-09-07). Fighting Saints Open Camp, Name Captains. Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Corey Masisak. Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  13. Mike G. Morreale (2011-11-01). Girgensons talks future plans ... in Vermont. Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  14. Buffalo Sabres (2013-07-13). GIRGENSONS, SABRES AGREE TO TERMS ON ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACT. Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  15. Mike Halford (2013-07-13). Report: Buffalo first-rounder Girgensons passes on school, will sign with Sabres. Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  16. Mike Harrington (2013-01-14). Girgensons knocked out of Amerks' lineup, likely with concussion. Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  17. John Vogl (2013-05-02). Girgensons impressive, but Amerks get swept from playoffs. Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  18. Girgensons Scores in Opening Night Loss (2013-10-03). Retrieved on 2013-10-03.
  19. IIHF (2013-05-05). Game Lineup. Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  20. IIHF (2013-05-09). Game Summary. Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  21. IIHF (2013-05-13). Girgensons suspended one game. Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  22. LHF (2014-01-07). Nolans nosauc sastāvu Olimpiskajām spēlēm (Latvian). Retrieved on 2014-01-08.
  23. Matt Calamia (2014-02-15). Lundqvist, Sweden Stay Perfect With Win Over Latvia. Retrieved on 2014-02-28.

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Mikhail Grigorenko
Buffalo Sabres first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Rasmus Ristolainen

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