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Red Wings pick Martin Frk with 49th overall pick in the 2nd round

The Detroit Red Wings have picked Halifax Mooseheads forward Martin Frk with the 49th overall pick in the NHL Draft.

The Red Wings confirm:

With the 49th pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, your @DetroitRedWings select Martin Frk (RW), Halifax Mooseheads.

The Hockey News had the 6’0,” 204-lb right winger from Bochov, Czech Republic ranked 45h overall. Here’s their assessment of Frk:

Touted as a top-10 selection this time last year, Frk missed almost half the season with a concussion and took quite a while to return to form with the Halifax Mooseheads.

His decision to skip the World Juniors despite coming back for a couple of games in December didn’t go over well, either. All those factors will conspire to knock the Czech winger down to the second round, but he has enough skill for plenty of teams to be intrigued.

When Frk is on his game, there is a lot to like. But there have been too few stretches like that. And while Frk has an abundance of skills, his skating is average at best.

“He’s very, very skilled and he has great hands in tight,” said one scout.

“He has had a lot of injuries and that has to concern you, but the last couple of times I saw him, I noticed he has a real goal-scorer’s touch in the right areas. His goals are the right kind of goals.

Here’s a Frk highlight reel:

Update: Quoting RedWingsCentral’s Sarah Lindenau:

Martin FRk…. hmmm I like that pick. Needs to work on skating though
...
#redwings not scared to gamble on injured players. See Tvordon, Pulkkinen #nhldraft
...
Pre-draft story on #NHL #RedWings draft pick Martin Frk metronews.ca/sports/272049/…

From the Wings:

With the 49th pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, your @DetroitRedWings select Martin Frk (RW), Halifax Mooseheads.
..
PHOTO: Assistant GM Jim Nill selects Frk. http://instagr.am/p/MODpIrx4yD/
...
Martin Frk, the first selection for your #Wings in the 2012 NHL Draft. http://twitpic.com/9zm990
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Frk when asked to describe his game: ‘I think I’m powerful. I can score goals and have a good shot.’
...
Frk: ‘I’m very happy it is Detroit and I am their first pick. I am very happy for my family.’

Frk from RedWingsCentral:

2-49. RW Martin Frk, 6-0, 193, Halifax (QMJHL), 34-16-13-29-41.  Hard-shooting, highly-skilled Czech right-winger missed the first three months of the season with a concussion. Returned and had an up-and-down season, needs to work on skating and defensive effort.

Here’s Matthew Wuest’s story about Frk, who he covers as Wuest is a Halifax Mooseheads reporter for Metronews.ca:

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 — is 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.”

Update #2: From the Wings again:

Martin’s handle is @Frky91. Feel free to follow him!

The Sports Forecaster on Frk:

R2/49 Martin Frk, RW 2011-12 Stats

HT WT Team GP G A Pts PIM +/-

6-0 200 Halifax (QMJHL) 34 16 13 29 41 -9

  Scouting Report: There was a time when the talented Czech was touted as a possible top-five selection for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, but his 2011-12 campaign was largely deviated by a concussion issue… has great hands and the ability to produce tremendous offense when on his game… doesn’t have elite skating ability, which may hinder his level of production at the highest level… needs to prove capable of remaining healthy for long stretches, since his young career has already been marred by injury problems… was rated 20th among North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings…

More RWC:

Frk is basically a bigger, harder shooting version of Teemu Pulkkinen. Literally terrorizes goaltenders with his shot, but accuracy varies.
...
It’s pronounced “Firk”, not Frick, for anyone wondering

More from the Wings:

Being from the Czech Republic, Jagr is a personal favorite for Frk. He also said that Datsyuk is the player he enjoys watching the most.

NHL.com on Frk:

• Frk played only 34 games during an injury-plagued 2011-12 season, recording 29 points (16-13—29). He added 11 points (5-6—11) in 17 playoff contests to help the Mooseheads reach the Western Conference Finals.

• In 2010-11, Frk led Halifax rookies and finished fourth overall among QMJHL freshmen with 50 points (22-28—50) in 62 games.

• He was the youngest player to represent the Czech Republic at the 2011 World Junior Championship, leading the team with three goals in six games. Frk also competed at the 2010 and 2011 Under-18 World Championship, where he tied for the team lead in scoring in 2010 (2-5—7) and 2011 (1-4—5).

• Prior to making the jump to the QMJHL, Frk competed for HC Karlovy of the Czech Under-20 League.

• He wears #91 because of childhood idol Sergei Federov.

FAVORITES

NHL player: Pavel Datsyuk
NHL team: Washington Capitals
Shootout move: Five hole
Goal celebration: Grab the ice on one knee
Video game: Zombies
Movie: Miracle
Actor: Sylvester Stallone
Cartoon character: Bugs Bunny
Website: NHL.com
Pump-up song: Anything by Lil Wayne
Food: Chinese
Sport (other than hockey): Soccer
Breakfast food: Eggs
Superhero: Spiderman

NHL.com had him ranked 20th overall among North American skaters.

Update #3: More from Wuest:

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 it is Detroit and I am their first pick,” Frk was quoted as saying on the Detroit Red Wings’ official Twitter feed. “I am very happy for my family.”

The six-foot, 198-pound Czech winger suffered a concussion in training camp and missed the first three months of the season. He had just one point in his first nine games after making his season debut on Dec. 9, then 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.

Update #4: Kulfan on Frk:

Frk is a 6-foot Czech C/RW who could develop into a good 2nd-liner with size, scouts seem to love his shot needs work on skating, defense

The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness on Frk:

The Wings nabbed right wing Martin Frk, who played for Halifax in the QMJHL, with their first pick, 49th overall.

Frk has had some concussion issues, but could be a steal for Detroit at 49th overall.

Update #5: MLive’s Ansar Khan on Frk:

The Detroit Red Wings selected right wing Martin Frik from Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with their first pick, 49th overall, in the second round of the NHL entry draft Saturday at the Consol Energy Center.

The 6-foot, 204-pound native of the Czech Republic played played only 34 games during an injury-plagued 2011-12 season, picking up 29 points, including 16 goals. He added 11 points (including five goals) in 17 playoff games.

In 2010-11, Frk led Halifax rookies and finished fourth overall among QMJHL rookies with 50 points (including 22 goals ) in 62 games.

Frik was the youngest player to represent the Czech Republic at the 2011 World Junior Championship, leading the team with three goals in six games. Frk also competed at the 2010 and 2011 Under-18 World Championship.

He wears No. 91 because of childhood idol, former Red Wing Sergei Federov.

TSN analsy Craig Button said this about Frik on tsn,ca: “Martin is a goal scorer. He wants to score, is hungry to score and is that player who is lurking for the chance to score. He plays a straight ahead game and is more of a shooter. He has a good shot and can beat goaltenders with it down the wing and it’s a heavy shot. His skating is good in straight lines and he creates separation between himself and defenders. He has good balance with a low center of gravity and is hard to knock off stride. His agility is adequate but not a necessary requirement for the style of game he plays. He uses his body to push to the scoring area and hold off defenders. He recognizes openings and opportunity and with a playmaking center who can get the puck to him, Martin has the abilities to be a good goal scorer at the NHL level.’‘

Via Lindenau, here’s NHL.com’s Mike G. Morreale on Frk:

After sitting out the first 29 games of the regular season and missing the 2012 World Junior Championships with concussion-like symptoms, Halifax Mooseheads right wing Martin Frk has regained his confidence.

Frk, who has 10 goals and 17 points in 24 matches with the Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, is ranked No. 25 on NHL Central Scouting’s list of the top draft eligible North American skaters.

He had 22 goals and 50 points in 62 games as a QMJHL rookie last season and 4 goals and 2 assists in three pre-season games in August before his injury.

First-year Halifax coach Dominique Ducharme, who might very well have the best draft-eligible prospect for 2013 on his roster in rookie forward Nathan MacKinnon, said Frk has been symptom-free since his return to the lineup. 

“I think we should see the best of him in the playoffs,” Ducharme told NHL.com. “That’s where we’re going to see him playing at 100 percent. I don’t think his injury is playing any role in his head though. He’s not tentative and not playing in a way not to get hit. He’s 100 percent back from his concussion and he’s showing no signs that it bothers him physically.”

Frk, who opted to sit out the WJC and not play for his native Czech Republic since he felt he wasn’t 100 percent, had 3 goals and 6 points in six games at the 2011 WJC in Buffalo. He was the youngest player to represent the Czechs at the tournament.

“I was upset I had to miss the WJC, it’s a great tournament for the best players in the world,” Frk told NHL.com. “But I don’t want to come back 80 percent. I wanted to come back ready for sure and 100 percent so that I can practice very hard and that’s why I stay out longer. I wanted to be in good shape so that I can work out hard in practices.”

Prior to making the jump to the QMJHL, Frk competed for the HC Karlovy of the Czech Under-20 league, connecting for 28 goals, 27 assists and 184 penalty minutes in 39 games during the 2009-10 campaign.

The Metro Halifax reported that MacKinnon, who leads the team with 65 points (26 goals) in 47 games, was sidelined this past weekend with a fractured bone in his left thumb. He suffered the injury while blocking a shot in a victory over the Rimouski Oceanic on Feb. 16. He’s a game-time decision for Tuesday’s contest against the Saint John Sea Dogs.

Via RedWingsFeed, the Wings’ website has posted a clip of Frk speaking to the press:

Update #6: More on Frk from Wuest:

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 it is Detroit and I am their first pick,” Frk was quoted as saying on the Detroit Red Wings’ official Twitter feed. “I am very happy for my family.”

The six-foot, 198-pound Czech winger suffered a concussion in training camp and missed the first three months of the season. He had just one point in his first nine games after making his season debut on Dec. 9, then 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.

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, can you play?’ He looks me right in the eye and he says ‘For sure.’ (I say) ‘Are you going to play for us?’ He says, ‘For sure,’” Babcock said. “For me, this game it’s about mental toughness … Hopefully the kid can step in and play for us (some day).”

Update #7: Eliteprospects on Frk:

Not a great skater or defensive player, Frk’s game is all about scoring. He has an excellent shot and a nose for the net. Good hands and moves the puck well through traffic. (EP 2012)

Hockeysfuture has a profile of Frk...

History
2009-10: Frk was the leading scorer for HC Karlovy Vary iin the Czech U20 Extraliga and skated for the Czech Republic in the 2010 U18 World Junior Championship. Frk scored 28 goals with 30 assists and had a league-leading 186 penalty minutes in 41 games. He scored 2 goals with 3 assists in five playoff contests. Frk shared the team lead in points for the sixth-place Czechs at the U18 WJC with 2 goals and 5 assists and was plus-one with 6 penalty minutes in six games. He played eight games with HC Karlovy Vary U18 and scored 9 goals with 4 assists and had 41 penalty minutes. Frk was selected in the first round (24th overall) of the 2010 KHL Draft by Ygra Khanty-Mansiysk. The Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) selected him in the first round (3rd overall) of the CHL Import Draft.

2010-11: Frk was the second-leading scorer for Halifax in his first season in North America and played for the Czech Republic in the 2011 U20 and U18 World Junior Championship tournaments. Frk scored 22 goals with 28 assists and was minus-14 with 75 penalty minutes in 62 games with the Mooseheads. Halifax reached the QMJHL playoffs despite winning just 20 games. In the four-game first round series against Montreal, Frk had 2 assists and was minus-seven with 8 penalty minutes. At the U20 WJC, Frk led all players in the tournament with 31 penalty minutes and was the seventh-place Czech team’s second-leading scorer with 3 goals and 3 assists; finishing minus-two in six games. Frk and Dmitrij Jaskin were the leading scorers for the Czechs at the U18 WJC with five points each. Frk scored 1 goal with 4 assists and was minus-two with 2 penalty minutes as the Czechs finished eighth.

2011-12: Frk suffered a concussion in the pre-season that kept him out until December but he had a strong second half as the Mooseheads were one of the QMJHL’s big turnaround stories. He scored 16 goals with 13 assists and was minus-nine with 41 penalty minutes in 34 games. Halifax finished second to powerhouse Saint John’s in the Maritimes Division and advanced to the playoff semifinals. In 17 playoff games Frk scored 5 goals with 6 assists and was an even plus/minus with 26 penalty minutes. Frk was invited to the NHL Draft Combine and ranked 20th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft.

Talent Analysis
An extremely raw prospect, Frk already possesses a pro-quality shot and plays with an edge, but the rest of his game needs work. Although his skating is often pointed to as his main weakness, his overall conditioning is a more pressing concern. Not just a triggerman on the ice, Frk has improved at carrying the puck and using his teammates more, but still requires more polish and development. As his mobility on the ice improves, so will his overall play.

And Frk was mentioned as one of the QMJHL’s best potential draft picks by HF’s Ian Altenbaugh:

2. Martin Frk, RW, Halifax Mooseheads
6’0, 198 pounds. October 5th 1993

At the beginning of last season, Martin Frk was given equal billing with Mikhail Grigorenko when it came to draft eligible QMJHL players. Unfortunately, not much went in Frk’s favor over the course of his sophomore season and now it is hard to say if he will even be drafted in the first round.

Coming off a solid rookie campaign, expectations were high for the Czech winger, especially with the Mooseheads making a number of moves to improve the squad, led by the acquisition of Nathan MacKinnon, an early favorite to be the top pick in the 2013 NHL Draft. But the envisioned pairing of Frk and MacKinnon was put on pause after the hard shooting winger suffered a concussion in the QMJHL pre-season.

He wouldn’t return to the ice for the Mooseheads until December and also sat out the World Junior tournament after playing for his home country of the Czech Republic the previous year as a 17-year-old. Though his on-ice agility was never his strongest suit, the cost of sitting out for a number of months showed in his play and when the calendar flipped from 2011 to 2012, Frk had just a single goal to his stat line.

The missed time had taken its toll on Frk’s play. While most scouts were hoping he would show improvement over his rookie season’s efforts, Frk seemed to struggle with the pace of the game and at times appeared visibly fatigued on the ice.

Working hard to get back in playing shape, Frk finished the year with 16 goals and 29 points in 34 games. In the playoffs, he added another five goals and 11 points in 17 post season matches. His best stretches came in streaks: one in January where he scored six goals and 11 points over six games and another in late February and early March where he potted four goals and eight points over five games.

It has been said that the 2012 draft class is “cursed” with so many of the top prospects missing time due to injury and Frk is no exception. The missed time makes it hard to equally judge not only Frk but all of the prospects who sat out parts of the season. In Frk’s case, it is not a matter of what he accomplished in his half season of work, but rather what he projects to be and where he would have been if he didn’t sit out the first three months of the season

Update #8: TSN’s Craig Button thought that Frk would be picked 32nd overall:

32. Martin Frk
Martin Frk
Profile
2011-12 Team: Halifax League: QMJHL
Position: Right Wing Height: 6’0
2011-12 Stats: 34 GP, 16 G, 29 PTS Weight: 204 lbs.
Scouting Rankings
NHL Central Scouting: 20 NAS, International Scouting Services: No. 42, The Hockey News: No. 45, Button’s Ranking: No. 59

TSN Scout Craig Button: Martin is a goal scorer. He wants to score, is hungry to score and is that player who is lurking for the chance to score. He plays a straight ahead game and is more of a shooter. He has a good shot and can beat goaltenders with it down the wing and it’s a heavy shot. His skating is good in straight lines and he creates separation between himself and defenders. He has good balance with a low center of gravity and is hard to knock off stride. His agility is adequate but not a necessary requirement for the style of game he plays. He uses his body to push to the scoring area and hold off defenders. He recognizes openings and opportunity and with a playmaking center who can get the puck to him, Martin has the abilities to be a good goal scorer at the NHL level.

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Comments

NIVO's avatar

hope he’s frk’in awesome hehe

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 06/23/12 at 11:25 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Frk Me!

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 06/23/12 at 11:28 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

You got to be kidding me, blackhawks pick a guy named “Thrower”, and his first highlight shown is him fighting.  That’s too funny.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 06/23/12 at 11:29 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Looks like a mucker with soft hands and a quick eye.  He’s got Franzen’s knack around the net looks like.. young franzen, not post-contract franzen.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/23/12 at 11:55 AM ET

Soupsnake's avatar

This guy skates so weird. He is almost bent over. Hope he pans out, but unless he can find a way to not lose half of his height while skating I can’t see him playing in the NHL.

Posted by Soupsnake from Canton, Mi on 06/23/12 at 12:12 PM ET

testgrenade's avatar

Concussion history. Brilliant.

Posted by testgrenade on 06/23/12 at 12:18 PM ET

Avatar

These kids are years away and you know before they even draft any of them that most won’t make it to the show. Why not have just a smidge of optimism as much as that hurts. We’ll find out who was right or wrong over the next few years.

Just cause the kid has a weird stride which can be worked on or had a concussion which I’m pretty sure a lot prospects before him have had doesn’t mean he won’t pan out.

Posted by Moocat on 06/23/12 at 01:08 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Don’t the Wings have someone in Sweden who can help with skating and stickhandling?  They did the same for DMac for a while.

If this kid can score the dirty goals a la Homer (and, yes, I know that there will hardly ever be another player quite like Homer) and skate, then I think we have a really good player.  Just speculatin’...

I’m cool with this pick, but that concussion history.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 06/23/12 at 01:27 PM ET

Avatar

His last name is the Czech variant of Ferk, same as a Slovenian alpine skier Marusa Ferk.

Not Firk.

Posted by Alex on 06/23/12 at 01:40 PM ET

Avatar

And he wear 91 as a homage to one Sergei Fedorov.

Awesome pick!

Posted by Alex on 06/23/12 at 01:46 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Frk? Really? Maybe Athanasiou will loan him a vowel. He’s got some extras there at the end of his name.

If Frk does make it to the NHL, you have to believe his jersey is going to be a big seller.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/23/12 at 01:50 PM ET

SYF's avatar

His last name is the Czech variant of Ferk, same as a Slovenian alpine skier Marusa Ferk.

Not Firk.

Posted by Alex on 06/23/12 at 12:40 PM ET

Holy hell, Alex.  Get a permanent sign-on name already, will ya???  LOL

And thanks for the Eastern European linguistics.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 06/23/12 at 04:00 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I think English-speakers will probably pronounce it as “Firk” rhyming with “jerk” instead of, “Ferk” rhyming with “spare-k.”

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/23/12 at 04:12 PM ET

Avatar

I think English-speakers will probably pronounce it as “Firk” rhyming with “jerk” instead of, “Ferk” rhyming with “spare-k.”

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/23/12 at 03:12 PM ET

Why would you want it to rhyme with “jerk”?

I think every North American can easily say “fair-copy”. See, it’s easy.

Posted by Alex on 06/24/12 at 01:26 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.