Going into the Memorial Cup I really didn’t know much about Leafs Prospect Martins Dzierkals. After doing a little research and checking out expert’s opinions, it seemed to me that he could potentially become an NHL player.
Dzierkals was an interesting pick for the Maple Leafs in the 2015 draft. They selected Martins 68th overall out of Latvia. He wasn’t exactly a highly rated prospect either. Going into the draft he was rated #195 by Hockeyprospect.com and #91 by ISS Hockey for his draft class.
About a week after the NHL Draft, Dzierkals was then selected 22nd overall by the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in the 2015 CHL Import Draft. He decided to make the move over to play North American hockey and play for the Huskies for the 2015-2016 season.
In this past season Dzierkals had 24 goals and 67 points in 59 games. In the QJMHL playoffs he had 7 goals and 17 points in 20 games. He played mostly on Rouyn-Noranda’s second line and played on the power play.
But, in all three of his games so far in the Memorial Cup he has impressed me more and more each game. In my opinion Dzierkals is one of Rouyn-Noranda’s best players.
Martins Dzierkals has elite speed. Each time he was on the ice he was one of the fastest players, if not the fastest. His elite speed allows him to create space from opposing players and open himself up to make plays in the offensive zone. Dzierkals also has a good shot that looked dangerous when he got it off.
Another aspect of Dzierkals game that impressed me was his work ethic and grit. He was willing to take the hit to make a play, as well as give out body checks of his own. While watching his last three games in the Memorial Cup, I have seen him draw at least three penalties by just keeping his feet moving. His speed and grit make it extremely hard for defenders to stop him and forces them into tough situations.
All in all, it seems to me that the Leafs 2015 third rounder Martins Dzierkals is progressing very well.
Dzierkals and the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies will face-off against the Red Deer Rebels in the Memorial Cup Semi-Finals. Friday, May 27th at 8pm EST on Sportsnet.