Halifax Mooseheads winger Martin Frk was selected in the second round, 49th overall, by the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL draft in Pittsburgh on Saturday.
The 18-year-old winger was a consensus early second-round pick coming into the weekend, ranked 32nd overall by TSN.ca, 42nd by International Scouting Service, and 45th by The Hockey News.
“I’m very happy — I don’t know what to say,” Frk told reporters in a media scrum. “It’s a big day for me. I’m happy it’s done and I’m glad to be with Detroit today … It’s a great hockey team.”
The six-foot, 198-pound Czech winger suffered a concussion in training camp and missed the first three months of the season. He returned on Dec. 9 and finished the season with 29 points in 34 games, following that up with 11 points in 17 post-season contests.
Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock, interviewed on the NHL Network, was certainly impressed after meeting Frk on the draft floor.
“Our first pick, he comes to the table, I say, ‘Welcome, are you any good?’ He looks me right in the eye and he says ‘For sure.’ (I say) ‘Are you going to play for us?’ He says, ‘Absolutely,'” Babcock said. “For me, this game it’s about mental toughness … Hopefully the kid can step in and play one day.”
Halls Harbour native Brandon Whitney was the only Nova Scotian selected, going in the seventh round (191st overall) to the Chicago Blackhawks. The six-foot-five Victoriaville Tigres stopper was ranked second among North American goaltenders by Central Scouting. He went 22-4-5 with two shutouts, a 2.74 goals-against average and a .896 save percentage last season and earned a nomination for the RDS Cup for QMJHL rookie of the year.