continued to develop at a steady pace since being selecte

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continued to develop at a steady pace since being selecte

Postby elvafeng » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:46 am

Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Martins Dzierkals could return to his home country of Latvia if he is unable to play for the Toronto Marlies this season.
According to Aivis Kalniņš, a KHL insider and writer for Hockeybuzz, Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Martins Dzierkals has an option to play for the Dinamo Riga in the KHL and could move back to Europe if his desire to play in the AHL is unattainable.

Dzierkals was a 3rd round pick in the 2015 NHL draft for the Maple Leafs, being drafted from HK Riga of the MHL at the time.
He has continued to develop at a steady pace since being selected 68th overall and moved to the Rouyn Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL.

During his two year spell in Canadian major juniors Frederik Andersen Jersey, Dzierkals earned 45 goals and 116 total points in 106 regular season games.
He added a further 19 points 7G 12A in 26 playoff games and won the President’s Cup with the team in the 2016 17 season.

His impressive spell for the Huskies saw him step up to the ECHL last season, playing for the Leafs affiliates the Orlando Solar Bears.

The 5 foot 11, 174lbs left handed winger picked up 36 points 15 goals, 21 assists in 51 regular season games, also featuring four times in the AHL for the Calder Cup winning Marlies
He did not register any points in his brief AHL stint but is still hopeful of being offered a contract by the Leafs that will allow him to continue his development in the second tier of North American hockey.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently at 47 contracts and may feel that offering Dzierkals will take up a spot that could potentially be filled by an NHL roster player.

This would mean that the Latvian winger will either have to play in the ECHL for the Newfoundland Growlers or move back to Europe to play in the KHL.
With the KHL having a higher quality level to the ECHL, it would be reasonable to expect Dzierkals to move back home and work on his development, with a view to impressing the NHL club further down the road.

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