PuckCentral: I'll start by asking how you feel your season has gone? For you personally and for your team?
Zemgus Girgensons: I think the team has been doing its job and playing really good. The team and as well myself we have been through a lot of ups and downs. I and my team has faced a lot of challenges this year and I think they are just making us stronger. My season has been full of injuries so I can't say its been a good season but I can tell you I have been enjoying it with my teammates.
PC: Do you feel any added pressure to perform down the stretch with this being one of your last chances to impress scouts?
ZG: I never had really felt any pressure about impressing someone or worrying about my draft status. I just try to play my game, enjoy it and help my team to do good.
PC: Also, have you felt pressure at all during the year, with this being your draft year?
ZG: As I already said in last question I don't feel any pressure about these things. I just let them to fall in place by themselves.
PC: Rumour on the street is you played two periods with a broken jaw? Did you think it was broken at first and just played through it or did it surprise you to find out it was broken? I'm not sure of the whole story but it seems pretty remarkable, and I'm sure the scouts and NHL GM's will love that kind of toughness and determination.
ZG: When I delivered the hit to the guy I understood something is not right. I just kept playing and in the excitement of the game you kinda forget about the pain. I didn't think it's broken 'till i saw the xray.
PC: Obviously Latvia wasn't favored to win the World Junior Championships but considering the division you guys were in, I think you performed well. What have you taken away from that experience? Do you think it's made you a better player?
ZG: I think it was a great experience playing on that team especially being one of the underdog teams. As again that was a just another challenge for me and I think it made me a better player for sure.
PC: Any favorite memories from the WJC that stand out that you'd like to share?
ZG: I think the whole tournament was great and really well organized. Every team was treated as professionals and we enjoyed that.
PC: At this point you're ranked very high in the draft rankings, some have you in the top 10, some have you just outside, does it give you any extra push to try and get yourself inside the top 10?
ZG: It's something that I can't control right now with my latest injury but my plan was try to get there by playing really good in playoffs and winning the Clark Cup.
PC: You're likely to be the first ever Latvian born player taken in the first round, how big of an honor is this for you? And what does this mean for Latvian hockey?
ZG: It will be great honor if that happens and I'm always proud to represent the country I am from. I think that would give a great spark in younger kids in Latvia that everything is possible and if you work hard and dedicate yourself to it you can achieve it.
PC: What made you decide to come to America for hockey, especially at a young age?
ZG: It was just that hockey in Latvia kinda stops at age 14 and kids are trying to get out of the country to improve their game. Most kid at that age choose to stay in Europe closer to home but i decided to come to North America.
PC: You're committed to the University of Vermont, what made you decide to choose Vermont, and even more, what made you decide to go the “NCAA” route? Obviously that's a little out of the norm for Europeans.
ZG: I thought that NCAA will be best fit for me to grow as a person and develop as a hockey player. I chose UVM becuase I played in Vermont for a year and I will feel comfortable adjusting to it. And of course I loved the coaching staff.
PC: What can Zemgus Girgensons bring to an NHL club?
ZG: I always would bring the highest intensity work ethic and team first attitude every single day and try to make the team better by my strenghts.
PC: Finally our last question, and we ask this to everyone. Who do you try and model your game after? Or do you just try and be “Zemgus Girgensons”?
ZG: I don't try to really play like someone but I think my game is similar to Ryan Kesler.
Zemgus Girgensons is a draft eligible prospect. He is likely to be a top 20 pick this year. You can follow him on twitter at : @Zemgus94.
**This interview was conducted via email.
Contact us at: