Latvian forward Zemgus Girgensons spent all of the 2012-2013 season in the American Hockey League, with the Rochester Americans. As a rookie in the AHL, the center had six goals and 11 assists for 17 points in 61 regular season games. He also had 28 penalty minutes and finished the season a minus-7. In the playoffs, Girgensons had three goals in three games against the Toronto Marlies before the Rochester Americans were eliminated in the first round.
Girgensons, 19, was drafted 14th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Mikhail Grigorenko, who was also drafted in the first round that year, spent part of last season in Buffalo, while Girgensons was in Rochester the entire season.
Although his numbers weren’t spectacular last season in Rochester, many Buffalo Sabres fans and media alike have been wondering if perhaps Zemgus Girgensons could earn a spot on the Buffalo lineup this season.
Zemgus Girgensons had a pair of goals in the Sabres’ preseason opener, a 5-4 shootout victory over the Montreal Canadiens. He had an assist in the Sabres’ second preseason game, but didn’t play in the team’s third game against the Carolina Hurricanes. He had six shots in the extended-shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Girgensons didn’t play in “the brawl game” against the Leafs the following day. Finally, he had an empty-net goal in Buffalo’s 3-0 shutout victory over the Columbus Blue Jakcets on September 25.
Many believe that Girgensons’ recent performance in training camp and the preseason may be helping him earn a spot in the Buffalo lineup, at least to begin the season. The injuries of Corey Tropp and Joel Armia, both of who could have ended up in Rochester (or who could also have been fighting for a spot on the Sabres) may factor into where Girgensons ends up to begin the season.
Well – what do you think?