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2012 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft: Arctic Ice Hockey Selects Martin Frk With No. 39 Pick

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Anyone remember The Czech Line? As I approached our pick in SB Nation's NHL Mock Draft, I couldn't help but notice that two intriguing prospects were going to fall to me: Calle Andersson, a sturdy Swedish defenceman whom Corey Pronman refers to as " impressive passer...who looks comfortable with the puck...", and Martin Frk, a Czech right winger (and former Czech international teammate of my mock 9th pick, Radek Faksa) who's been on the prospect radar since he was 15 years old. As much as I wanted to try adding a defenceman to the system, I went with the offensive upside.

Of course, to understand the pick you need to have an idea of the picks leading up to mine:

  1. Edmonton Oilers --- Nail Yakupov, LW, Sarnia (OHL)
  2. Columbus Blue Jackets --- Filip Forsberg, RW, Leksands (SEL)
  3. Montreal Canadiens --- Mikhail Grigorenko, C, Quebec (QMJHL)
  4. New York Islanders --- Alex Galchenyuk, C, Sarnia (OHL)
  5. Toronto Maple Leafs --- Ryan Murray, D, Everett (WHL)
  6. Anaheim Ducks --- Mathew Dumba, D, Red Deer (WHL)
  7. Minnesota Wild --- Jacob Trouba, D, USNTDP (USHL)
  8. Carolina Hurricanes --- Teuvo Teravainen, LW,C, Jokerit (SM-liiga)
  9. Winnipeg Jets --- Radek Faksa, C, Kitchener (OHL)
  10. Tampa Bay Lightning --- Griffin Reinhart, D, Edmonton (WHL)
  11. Washington Capitals --- Zemgus Girgensons, C, Dubuque (USHL)
  12. Buffalo Sabres --- Cody Ceci, D, Ottawa (OHL)
  13. Dallas Stars --- Morgan Rielly, D, Moose Jaw (WHL)
  14. Calgary Flames --- Olli Määttä, D, London (OHL)
  15. Ottawa Senators --- Sebastian Collberg, RW, Frolunda (SEL)
  16. Washington Capitals --- Pontus Åberg, LW, Djugarden (SEL)
  17. San Jose Sharks --- Tomas Hertl, C, Slavia Praha (Czech Extraliga)
  18. Chicago Blackhawks --- Matt Finn, D, Guelph (OHL)
  19. Tampa Bay Lightning --- Derrick Pouliot, D, Portland (WHL)
  20. Philadelphia Flyers --- Brendan Gaunce, C, Belleville (OHL)
  21. Buffalo Sabres --- Stefan Matteau, LW, USNTDP (USHL)
  22. Pittsburgh Penguins --- Slater Koekkoek, D, Peterborough (OHL)
  23. Florida Panthers --- Hampus Lindholm, D, Rögle (SEL)
  24. Boston Bruins --- Dalton Thrower, D, Saskatoon (WHL)
  25. St. Louis Blues --- Nicolas Kerdiles, LW, USNTDP (USHL)
  26. Vancouver Canucks --- Colton Sissons, RW, Kelowna (WHL)
  27. Phoenix Coyotes --- Ville Pokka, D, Karpat (SM-liiga)
  28. New York Rangers --- Mark Jankowski, C, Stanstead (Que. Prep.)
  29. New Jersey Devils --- Tom Wilson, RW, Plymouth (OHL)
  30. Los Angeles Kings --- Anton Slepyshev, LW, Novokuznetsk (KHL)
  31. Columbus Blue Jackets --- Malcolm Subban, G, Belleville (OHL)
  32. Edmonton Oilers --- Damon Severson, D, Kelowna (WHL)
  33. Montreal Canadiens --- Ludvig Byström, D, Modo (SEL)
  34. New York Islanders --- Brady Skjei, D, USNTDP (USHL)
  35. Toronto Maple Leafs --- Andrei Vasilevski, G, Salavat Yulaev (KHL)
  36. Anaheim Ducks --- Tanner Pearson, RW, Barrie (OHL)
  37. Nashville Predators --- Scott Laughton, C, Oshawa (OHL)
  38. Carolina Hurricanes --- Henrik Samuelsson, RW, Edmonton (WHL)
  39. Winnipeg Jets --- Martin Frk, RW, Halifax (QMJHL)
At this point in the draft, I theorized that we were still in the thick of offensive prospects with considerable upside, with fewer such appealing options at D.

Martin Frk --- RW --- Halifax (QMJHL) --- 6'0" (183cm), 201 lbs (91kg)
Season Teams Leagues/Tourneys TGP G A PTS PIM
2011-12 Halifax QMJHL 54 23 19 42 71

Czech Republic U19 International

2010-11 Halifax QMJHL 79 26 37 63 116

Czech Republic U20/U18 International/WJC

2009-10 HC Karlovy Vary U20/U18 Czech U20/U18 71 53 52 105 222

Czech Republic U18/U17 International/WJC

Andersson might have some solid offensive capabilities, but Frk has long been respected for his sniping abilities and could potentially become a legitimate goal-scoring threat at the NHL level. That kind of upside usually comes at a premium on the wing. He can also be a fiery little wrecking ball when he isn't blasting the puck into the net; I see Frk's upside as a better-shooting Victor Rask with bonus physicality. Some concerns about his early season concussion were alleviated by a solid return in the second half, including more of his trademark offensive and physical performances.

Frk isn't huge, but he plays a lot bigger. Frk has the ability to finish checks and play with a high level of grit that makes him extremely versatile and valuable...[he] has shown some strong two-way play...
- Alex Arsenault, The Scouting Report
...when he is motivated he is the best player on the ice. This guy has an NHL shot and can shoot holes through the net. He already has a body that can withstand the physical punishment that the NHL offers and as well has a magnificent skill set to compliment (sic) his big body presence.
- Nicholas Doucet,
Boasting a very good and accurate shot, Frk has a high offensive IQ and is not afraid to drive the net and battle for the puck along the boards. The gritty winger plays with an edge and can easily get under the skin of his opponents, drawing penalties and changing the tempo.
- Fred Poulin, The Hockey Writers
He has excellent puck skills with a lot of flash to his game and looks very coordinated while handling the puck. Frk is also good at handling the puck while getting checked, driving the net, or getting his stick on loose pucks. He has one of the best shots in the draft with a one-timer that rockets off his tape that is equivalent to the shots of elite finishers...
Despite being about 6'0", Frk is pretty strong and shows good muscle during his one-on-one battles, has a gritty side to his game, and even with slightly below-average size he'll be find in the physical game due to a big lower body.
- Corey Pronman, Hockey Prospectus
Frk suffered a serious concussion during the pre-season and has only managed to get back into the lineup on a full-time basis at the beginning of January.
- Arsenault
Frk's commitment and drive has been questioned at times during his time with Halifax...
- Doucet
A very inconsistent player, Frk needs to work on his conditioning and endurance to have success at a higher level...he tends to tire at the end of his shifts and late in games...[Frk's] physical edge can also lead to bad and lazy penalties and Frk is also prone to turnovers because he sometimes tend (sic) to hold on[to] the puck for too long.
- Poulin
His skating is below-average, and while I have heard a scout or two describe it as horrible, I don't think it's that bad and will suffice given his other qualities but his big frame relative to his size contributes a bit to his lack of speed on top of mechanical issues. Another divided topic from scouts is Frk's hockey sense/vision, as some say it's solid and some say it's poor.
- Pronman
I'm not going to lie, he's probably going to need a bit of seasoning before we see him anywhere near the NHL, but you have to like the upside and lip service to his two-way game. If he could transform his chippiness into the type of player that draws a lot of penalties, he'll be even more appealing.

I'm banking on this being a more debatable call, so have at it in the comments. Was I right to go forward again? Do you like Frk at this point in the draft? Did I miss somebody you liked more?