Drafted 49th Overall by the Detroit Red Wings.
Martin Frk is a right winger playing for the Halifax Mooseheads in the QMJHL. He entered the season as a very highly touted prospect and was seen as someone who might even crack the top 10 in this draft class. An up-and-down season marred by injury concerns and questions about his conditioning level, have certainly dropped that stock. However, a good showing for Halifax in the QMJHL playoffs should help to bring him back up draft boards, and might be enough to keep him in the first round. Frk is the third Czech-born forward in our rankings, joining Radek Faksa and Tomas Hertl.
Born Oct 5 1993 — Karlov Vary, Czech Rep.
Height 6.00 — Weight 198 — Shoots L
When Frk is on his game, he’s impossible to miss on the ice. Frk is one of the best agitators or pests in the QMJHL. He is great at irritating opponents and getting under their skin, whether its with a chirp, sneaky stick work, or a facewash after the play. Frk however is not a fighter, which infuriates opponents even more. He has good size and strength and uses those to play a very gritty game, throwing hits, winning board battles, and getting to the dirty areas of the ice. Like most agitators there is a bit of a downside, however, as Frk needs to be careful to walk a fine line and not take undisciplined penalties, which have been a problem at times.
Frk marries his tenacious and hard-nosed game with impressive offensive skills. He has a hard and accurate shot and an excellent release. He is also a skilled stickhandler and adept at dangling past opponents or protecting the puck from them on the cycle game. He goes hard to the net and knows what to do when he gets there. He also has a knack for finding open spaces on the ice and unleashing his excellent one-timer. Frk is decent playmaker, but this is not the strength of his game. He can have a tendency to try to be too cute with the puck and this can lead to some bad giveaways in the offensive zone.
Frk’s skating is average. He has good agility, and is able to make the quick changes of direction needed to execute his impressive dangles. Frk is also strong on his skates and has good balance which makes him hard to knock off the puck. He does, however, need work on his first-step quickness, his acceleration and his top end speed, which are all below average.
Frk’s defensive game is also a bit of a “work in progress”. He needs work on his defensive positioning and play without the puck. He loses his man too often in the defensive zone, and can be guilty of puck watching instead of moving his feet at times.
Overall, we believe Frk could develop into a solid top 6 contributor at the NHL level, however, this is a big “boom or bust” pick. Frk certainly has a ton of talent, but he also carries with him some big question marks. One of these is the fact that he missed over three and a half months this season with a serious concussion, something that will scare many NHL teams. If he can develop over the next few years, we’d place Frk’s ceiling as a more skilled version of Darcy Tucker, formerly of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
We’ve now reached the end of the first round rankings in this NHL draft. But fear not loyal readers, we’re not done yet.
… and that is the Last Word.