Martin Frk will finally be able to put a tough season behind him this weekend.
The Halifax Mooseheads winger is a consensus early second-round pick for the NHL draft on Friday and Saturday in Pittsburgh, ranked 32nd overall by TSN.ca, 42nd by International Scouting Service, and 45th by The Hockey News.
It’s not what he hoped for when he arrived in Halifax last August in the best shape of his life, but after suffering a concussion a week later and missing the first three months of the season, his relatively high ranking is a testament to his talent after a season of ups and downs.
“He got back to the same level he was in training camp but (by then) the level of the game was higher and he never could grow with that and keep the pace,” said Mooseheads head coach Dominique Ducharme. “He was always catching, trying to get back … That’s why I think he had ups and downs.”
The six-foot, 198-pound Czech winger had just one point in his first nine games after making his season debut on Dec. 9. Then he piled up 15 goals and 13 assists for 28 points over the final 27 games, tops on the Mooseheads during that stretch.
He slumped again in the post-season with just one goal and five assists in 13 games over the final two rounds.
“He’s got tools — his skills, his shot, his hands, his vision, his strength on the puck,” Ducharme said. “Those are NHL skills. Next year, when he starts the season with everyone else and grows with the pace of the game, the team that drafts him will see what kind of player he can become.”
OTHER MOOSEHEADS HOPEFULS
Forward Andrew Ryan (109th) and defenceman Austyn Hardie (194th) are other Mooseheads ranked by Central Scouting for the NHL draft. Winger Luca Ciampini was ranked 196th at mid-season but slipped off Central Scouting’s final North American list.