Bounce Back Candidate No. 3: Martin Frk
Remember this guy?
Picked up as a free agent from the Detroit Red Wings in 2019, the 27-year-old right-wing impressed during his brief time with the LA Kings in 2019-20. He started the season playing in the AHL for the Ontario Reign, but his excellent play eventually earned him a call-up to Los Angeles.
In only 17 games played, Frk scored six goals on 26 shots. He also showed chemistry with center Gabe Vilardi, which had carried over to Los Angeles from their time together with the Reign earlier that season. His play prompted the Kings to give Frk a two-year contract extension.
Frk’s calling card is his blisteringly hard shot, and this was on full display at the 2020 AHL All-Star Skills Competition. During the Hardest Shot event, he hit 109.2 MPH on the speed gun — breaking the AHL record in that category. Get in front of a Martin Frk slapshot, and you better have an icepack on standby.
Excitement was high coming into the 2021 season about the potential of the Vilardi-Frk combination. This excitement turned to disappointment almost immediately as Frk injured his groin on opening night and missed an extended amount of time. He would ultimately finish the season in the AHL with the Reign.
With a full offseason to recover from the injuries that derailed his 2021 season, Frk will once again be looking to impress the LA Kings. In this coming season, roster spots will be highly contested in training camp as team expectations will be elevated.
If Frk can earn a roster spot and stay healthy, he could be one answer to the Kings’ scoring woes that have haunted them in recent seasons.