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Latvians in 2021-22 NHL season

Updated: Oct 14

2021-22 NHL season is the 30th NHL season in a row with at least one Latvian hockey player who has played in a regular season. The fact is more remarkable because Latvia restored it's independence 30 years ago in August 21, 1991 and despite the fact that Arturs Irbe wasn't the first Latvian who has played in NHL he was the first who represented independent Latvia. Arturs Irbe who played for San Jose Sharks played his NHL debut game in Nov. 8, 1991 vs Edmonton Oilers.

Number or Latvian hockey players in NHL seasons

There has been 3 NHL seasons with only one Latvian hockey player in NHL:

  • 1990-91 Arturs Irbe 13 GP

  • 2012-13 lockout season Kaspars Daugavins 25 GP in regular season and 6 GP in Stanley Cup play-offs

  • 2017-18 Zemgus Girgensons 71 GP

NHL season 2021-22

Matiss Kivlenieks

A lot of honors and remembrances. And as for myself I have lost a taste and feeling for hockey since July 5th, 2021.

About honoring - still in Oct. 17, 2021 you won't find his name among Latvian goalies statistics in NHL official statistics filtering by nationality. As I noted the inaccuracies where Alexander Kerch (Aleksandrs Kercs) name didn't show up in a similar case lot of years ago I just got tired by sending emails and tweeting about this.

As of players who are able and are playing the start of this season has been perfect. I have dug through a lot through statistics but I haven't noticed the fact where all three skaters has scored a goal in season opening game and Elvis adding his season opening victory is making the start of the season incredible.

  • Teddy Blueger (Penguins) (Teodors Blugers) scored a goal vs Lightning in October 12 season opening game and in 3rd season game vs Blackhawks.

  • Zemgus Girgensons (Sabres) who missed the whole 2020-21 season due to injury scored 1+1 vs Canadiens in October 14.

  • Rudolfs Balcers (Sharks) scored a game winning goal vs Jets in October 16.

  • Elvis Merzlikins (Blue Jackets) has 2-0-0 in 2 GP


There are some really remarkable player milestones which hopefully could be reached in this season.

  • Zemgus Girgensons could become only the 5th Latvian hockey player who has played in 500 regular season games

  • Teddy Blueger can reach 200 GP

  • Rudolfs Balcers and Elvis Merzlikins can reach 100 GP

Latvian NHL player goal scoring leaders

Best regular season record by active Latvian NHL players

Latvian NHL goalie leaders by won games

Elvis Merzlikins season by season

Latvian NHL goalie millennium statistics

I came up with this table last season because I was very hyped up about our two goalies competing in NHL and I wanted to create something where I can compare goalies in every aspect.


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