21-Year-Old Center – Buffalo Sabres
Zemgus Girgensons Contract Information:
Signed three-year, entry-level contract with Buffalo in July 2012.
Girgensons (upper body) will return to the lineup Wednesday against Nashville.
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Zemgus Girgensons: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
At just 20 years old, Girgensons is seen as one of the league’s best young two-way players. A complete player who can skate, hit and contribute offensively, he is slated to be one of Buffalo’s top centers and could become the team’s best player by the end of the season. The 14th overall pick from 2012, Girgensons should only improve upon his 22-point rookie campaign. Buffalo is short on NHL-caliber centers, which means the burden on Girgensons could be even greater. Having performed admirably for Latvia at the Winter Olympics, he doesn’t seem to be the type to shirk extra responsibility. What Girgensons lacks in high-end skill, he more than makes up for with a hard work ethic.
Girgensons played in the AHL as a teenager last season, scoring 17 points in 61 games with the Sabres’ affiliate in Rochester. The 2012 first-round pick took some time to adjust to pro hockey, but really turned a corner near the end of the season, leading Rochester with three goals in three playoff games. After a strong summer development camp, he heads to training camp attempting to win a roster spot with the big club. Those in keeper leagues should keep an eye on the 19-year old Latvian, as his combination of size and skill make him a tantalizing prospect. If he doesn’t break camp with the Sabres, he’ll likely be called up to show his stuff at some point during the season.
Girgensons spurned a college career with the University of Vermont to sign an entry-level deal with the Sabres. He was the 14th overall selection in June's entry draft and will certainly have a shot at breaking camp with the Sabres. Have a close look at him in keeper leagues, but the Latvian pivot will likely benefit from some seasoning with the Sabres' AHL affiliate in Rochester. Girgensons put 55 points in 49 with Dubuque of the USHL. The Sabres will have to decide whether it's better to have him on the NHL roster or playing regularly in the AHL.