Martins Dzierkals

Hometown:

Latvia

Currently Playing In:

CHL

Birthday:

1997-04-04

Position:

LW

Eligible for draft:

2015

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2015

Height:

5-11

Acquired:

3rd round (68th overall), 2015

Weight:

170 lbs.

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History

2012-13: Martins Dzierkals skated for SK Saga in the Latvia U18 league and played for the Latvia U17 team in the Europe Youth Olympic Festival. He scored 28 goals with 31 assists and 16 penalty minutes in 20 games for SK Saga. Dzierkals scored 1 goal with 6 penalty minutes and had an even plus/minus in three games for Latvia at the EYOF.

2013-14: Dzierkals led SK Saga in scoring playing in the Latvia U20 league and skated for the Latvia U18 team that won a gold medal at the 2014 World Junior Championship Division IA tournament in France. He scored 35 goals with 33 assists and 43 penalty minutes in 23 games for SK Saga. Dzierkals was +3 with 2 assists and 16 penalty minutes in five games at the D IA WJC. Latvia finished 4-1 in the round robin tournament, edging second-place Norway, which handed the squad it’s only loss, 4-2, in Latvia’s final game.

2014-15: Dzierkals skated for HK Riga in Russia’s MHL U22 league and played for the Latvia U20 and U18 teams. He scored 10 goals with 18 assists and was +3 with 49 penalty minutes in 32 regular season games. Dzierkals scored 1 goal and was -5 with 2 penalty minutes in three MHL playoff games. Skating for the Latvia U20 team in the Division 1A World Juniors in Italy in December, he scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes as Latvia finished third. Latvia competed in the top division at the U18 level, finishing ninth in the 10-team tournament in Switzerland. Dzierkals scored 3 goals with 6 assists and was +2 with 10 penalty minutes in six games. He was not among the 120 international skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings but was selected by Toronto in the third round (68th overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft. Dzierkals was selected by Rouyn-Noranda in the first round (22nd overall) in the 2015 CHL Import Draft. 

2015-16: Dzierkals attended his first NHL training camp with the Maple Leafs and was the third-leading scorer for QMJHL champion Rouyn-Noranda in his first season in North America. He scored 24 goals with 43 assists for 67 points, trailing only Francis Perron (OTT, 108) and Jean-Christophe Beaudin (COL, 82). Dzierkals was +23 with 42 penalty minutes in 59 regular season games. The Huskies finished first in the West Division and were 16-4 in the QMJHL playoffs, defeating Shawinigan in the finals to reach the Memorial Cup. Dzierkals scored 7 goals with 10 assists and was +13 with 12 penalty minutes in 20 playoff games. Dzierkals played for the Latvia U20 team at the 2016 Division 1A World Junior Championship, scoring 1 goal with 3 assists in five games as the squad finished first; clinching a spot at the 2017 World Juniors in Toronto and Montreal. 

Talent Analysis

Dzierkals was an unknown to many when he was selected by Toronto in the third round in 2015 but that is no longer the case. A smooth skater with significant passing and stick handling skills, he makes split-second decisions and is able to execute quickly to either get a shot on goal or create a scoring chance for a teammate.

Future

Dzierkals skated for the QMJHL champion Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in 2015-16, playing a key role as the Huskies advanced to the Memorial Cup championship game. He also skated for the Latvia U20 team at the Division 1A World Juniors as an 18-year-old. Dzierkals made a smooth transition for Latvian junior hockey to major junior and will look to earn an entry-level contract with Toronto in training camp. He figures to return to the Huskies for a second season and is a candidate to play for Latvia in the 2017 World Junior Championship. Long-term he projects as a second or third line scorer who will play an honest game in all three zones.

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