Martin Frk appears to be the man to get in the Canadian Hockey League import draft.
The five-foot-11, 190-pound left-winger is ranked first overall by International Scouting Service for Tuesday’s annual event, and the Halifax Mooseheads — who pick third overall — can only hope he’s still around when they file their pick online at 10:30 a.m.
“He’s going to put up a lot of points (in the CHL), and he’s not your typical European,” said one scout. “If he doesn’t go around you, he’ll go through you. If the Mooseheads get him, their fans are gonna love him.”
Frk posted 28 goals and 27 assists for 55 points — along with a whopping 184 penalty minutes — in 39 games with Karlovy Vary of the Czech Republic’s under-20 league last season.
He led the Czechs in scoring at the IIHF world under-18 championship in April with seven points in six games, and his physical play has reportedly led to multiple suspensions.
At just 16, he isn’t eligible for the NHL draft until 2012, putting him in the Mooseheads’ target age bracket.
The Prince George Cougars and Sarnia Sting have the first and second overall picks.
Mooseheads general manager Cam Russell, who scored big when he took German defenceman Konrad Abeltshauser in the second round last year, is tight-lipped about who he’s hoping to take.
“We have at least three guys in mind, with two teams picking ahead of us,” Russell said. “The agents control these players, so we’re just talking to agents. It’s a bit of a chess game.”
Frk, who was recently drafted 24th overall by Yugra Kahnty-Mansiysk in the Kontinental Hockey League draft, would be another in a long line of talented Czechs who starred in Halifax, with Petr Vrana, Jakub Voracek and Tomas Knotek among the best players in franchise history.
Other players ISS has identified as top import candidates include Danish centre Nicklas Jensen, Finnish right-winger Joel Armia and Norwegian left-winger Sondre Olden, who plays in Sweden.
Finnish centre Victor Rask is a wildcard and would be a candidate to go No. 1 if there was more of a guarantee he was interested in playing in the CHL.
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|Top-scoring Mooseheads imports of all-time.|
|1. Jakub Voracek, Czech Rep.||112||187|
|2. Tomas Knotek, Czech Rep.||182||173|
|3. Petr Vrana, Czech Rep.||180||172|
|4. Ladislav Nagy, Slovakia||63||126|
|5. Sergei Klyazmin, Russia||111||110|