Zemgus Girgensons was drafted in 2012 by the Buffalo Sabres with the 14th overall pick.He is the highest drafted Latvian player in the history of the NHL. While much of the discussion has been centered around the guy drafted 2 slots ahead of Girgensons ( Grigorenko ) Sabres fans should also be excited about “Z”.
Z is a high energy physical center with decent speed and good offensive ability, although scouts rave about his defense. “Tenacious”, “Intense”, and “hardworking” are just a few adjectives scouts have used to describe Zemgus. His low-end potential would be a 3rd/4th line defensive center much along the lines of Paul Gaustad. Girgensons has the potential to be a second line center with strong leadership abilities. He has captained his USHL team in Dubuque. He has all the trademarks of one of the best Sabres of all-time, “Captain Crunch” Michael Peca. Sabres fans will love his effort and strong physical play. The criticism of recent Sabres teams have been “soft”, Z is most definitely the opposite of “soft”.
Last year in Rochester, Zemgus started off slowly. He was only 18 at the time and he definitely needed some grooming. He did finish the season strong, including 3 goals in the AHL playoffs. Girgensons has been especially strong during training camp and has 2 goals during the pre-season. If the Sabres are truly rebuilding, they should allow Zemgus to gain his experience in the NHL this year. Come October, The Big Z should be wearing the Blue and Gold. He is only 19 so another year in Rochester is a possibility.