2017 Leafs Top Prospects: #24 Martins Dzierkals

When Martins Dzierkals signed an AHL contract with the Toronto Marlies this summer, many took it to be an admission that the youngster’s shot at the NHL was in danger. In reality, it was more contract savviness than anything; with a year remaining until the Leafs have to commit to an entry-level deal and their books nearly filled with 50 contracts, this was a way of getting Dzierkals to play against some better opponents without having to clear the way for him. As such, this will be his first year of pro hockey, a season earlier than the Leafs were really forced to give it to him. Here’s what you need to know moving forward: Age 20 (April 4, 1997) Birthplace Ogre, Latvia Pos Right Wing (LH) Drafted 2015 (Rd 3, Pick 68) Vitals 5’10, 172lbs Acquired Via Draft Dzierkals was on a list of players considered to be “sleepers” in the 2015¬†draft, as Toronto drafted for point production and maximum upside while largely ignoring vintage hockey tropes like size and aggression. Certainly, while the young Latvian was a bit of a wildcard given where he had shown his ability to fill the net, he was certainly doing it, ripping … Continue reading 2017 Leafs Top Prospects: #24 Martins Dzierkals