Zemgus Girgensons (born 5 January 1994) is a Latvian professional ice hockey centre currently playing for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was selected 14th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres. With this selection, Girgensons became the highest-drafted Latvian in NHL history, 16 spots higher than previous highest selection, Sandis Ozoliņš, in 1991. In the previous year, Girgensons was selected in the second round, 28th overall, in the 2011 Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) Junior Draft by CSKA Moscow.
Girgensons with the Sabres in 2016
5 January 1994|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)|
|NHL team||Buffalo Sabres|
14th overall, 2012|
In 2009, Girgensons moved to North America and played in the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL) for the Green Mountain Glades. The next season, he moved to the United States Hockey League (USHL) and played for the Dubuque Fighting Saints. In 2011, he became a USHL champion with the Fighting Saints, and he also participated in the USHL All-Star Game. In the 2011–12 season, his last as a junior, Girgensons was named as the captain of the Fighting Saints.
Girgensons entered his draft eligibility year as a projected first-round draft pick. He was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the first round, 14th overall. The Sabres had already used their own first-round pick, selecting Mikhail Grigorenko 12th overall, but traded a first-round (21st overall) pick (from Nashville), which Calgary used to select Mark Jankowski, and a second-round (42nd overall) pick, to move up seven spots to draft Girgensons. Before attending the Sabres' prospects' summer camp, Girgensons had committed to going to the University of Vermont Catamounts of the NCAA; however, he signed a professional contract with the Sabres on 13 July 2012, which forfeited his NCAA eligibility.
Girgensons began the 2012–13 season in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Rochester Americans. He had a slow start to the season and, at the beginning of 2013, he suffered an injury from a late hit by Richard Pánik of the Syracuse Crunch. However, he finished the season strongly, scoring three goals in the Americans' first-round defeat in the Calder Cup playoffs.
After scoring three goals and adding one assist in five pre-season games, Girgensons began the 2013–14 season in the NHL with the Sabres. He scored his first career NHL goal in the Sabres' season opener against Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings on 2 October 2013.
On 1 September 2016 Girgensons, as restricted free agent re-signed with the Sabres, agreeing to a one-year, $1.15 million contract extension. The following season, on 17 August 2017, Girgensons re-signed with the Sabres again, agreeing to a two-year contract worth $3.2 million 
Girgensons participated at the 2012 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships as a member of the Latvian junior team and at the 2010 IIHF World U18 Championships. He made his senior national team debut in 2013 World Championships against the United States and scored his first international goal against Slovakia. He also was suspended for one game for spearing Branislav Mezei in the first period of the match in retaliation for an earlier hit.
On 7 January 2014, it was announced that Latvia Head Coach Ted Nolan had included Girgensons on his national team roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Girgensons scored his first Olympic goal in Latvia's third tournament game, coming versus Sweden off of a power play goal against Henrik Lundqvist.
Girgensons comes from a hockey family. His father, Aldis Girgensons, played defence for Dinamo Riga.
|2009–10||Green Mountain Glades||EJHL||42||28||29||57||19||2||0||2||0||2|
|2010–11||Dubuque Fighting Saints||USHL||51||21||28||49||46||11||3||5||8||8|
|2011–12||Dubuque Fighting Saints||USHL||49||24||31||55||69||2||2||2||4||0|
Awards and honoursEdit
|First All-Star Team||2012|
|Rising Star of the Year Award||2013|
- "Girgensonu ar 14. numuru izvēlas Bufalo "Sabres"" (in Latvian). Sportacentrs.com. 23 June 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
- NHL. "Buffalo sabres 2012 draft selections". nhl.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- RYAN O'LEARY (22 March 2013). "Pursuit of passion". iihf.com. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- EliteProspects. "2011 KHL Draft". eliteprospects.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- Jaunās Jūrmalas Ziņas (1 March 2013). "Edmunds Vasiļjevs: "Mūsu hokeja skola ir arī valstiska lieta"" (in Latvian). jjz.lv. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- Latvijas Hokeja fedrācija. "Spēlētāja dati" (in Latvian). lhf.lv. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- EliteProspects. "Green Mountain Glades 2009/10 roster". eliteprospects.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- EliteProspects. "Dubuque Fighting Saints 2010/11 roster". eliteprospects.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- USHL. "Clark Cup Champions". ushl.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- USHL. "USHL Names CCM Midseason All-Stars". ushl.com. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- Our Sports Central (7 September 2011). "Fighting Saints Open Camp, Name Captains". oursportscentral.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- Corey Masisak (23 June 2012). "Quality outdoes quantity on Draft Night trades". nhl.com. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
- Mike G. Morreale (1 November 2011). "Girgensons talks future plans ... in Vermont". nhl.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- Buffalo Sabres (13 July 2013). "GIRGENSONS, SABRES AGREE TO TERMS ON ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACT". nhl.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- Mike Halford (13 July 2013). "Report: Buffalo first-rounder Girgensons passes on school, will sign with Sabres". nbcsports.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- Mike Harrington (14 January 2013). "Girgensons knocked out of Amerks' lineup, likely with concussion". buffalonews.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- John Vogl (2 May 2013). "Girgensons impressive, but Amerks get swept from playoffs". buffalonews.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- "Girgensons Scores in Opening Night Loss". 3 October 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
- McLaren, Ian (9 December 2014). Sabres' Girgensons dominating All-Star voting after 3 weeks. The Score. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- IIHF (5 May 2013). "Game Lineup" (PDF). iihf.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- IIHF (9 May 2013). "Game Summary" (PDF). iihf.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- IIHF (13 May 2013). "Girgensons suspended one game". iihf.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- LHF (7 January 2014). "Nolans nosauc sastāvu Olimpiskajām spēlēm" (in Latvian). lhf.lv. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
- Matt Calamia (15 February 2014). "Lundqvist, Sweden Stay Perfect With Win Over Latvia". nhl.com. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Zemgus Girgensons.|
- Biographical information and career statistics from NHL.com, or Eliteprospects.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or The Internet Hockey Database
- Profile on Fighting Saints website
|Awards and achievements|
| Latvian Rising Sportspersonality of the Year
| Buffalo Sabres first round draft pick