Nolan compares Girgensons' work ethic to Gretzky's

Zemgus Girgensons of the Buffalo Sabres celebrates following his goal in the first period against...

Zemgus Girgensons of the Buffalo Sabres celebrates following his goal in the first period against the Boston Bruins during the game at TD Garden on December 21, 2013. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images/AFP)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:02 PM ET

Zemgus Girgensons isn't exactly setting the NHL on fire in his rookie season, recording four goals and 14 points in 45 games.

However, Sabres head coach Ted Nolan has served up a mega compliment to the 20-year-old Buffalo forward by comparing his work ethic to that of the Great One's.

"You know, they had to do the same thing with Wayne Gretzky when he was at that age," Nolan, who played with Gretzky in junior, told the Buffalo News. "He had that same work ethic."

"The coaches had to kick (Gretzky) off the ice. All the good ones, the coaches have to do that," he added.

Girgensons, the 14th overall selection in the 2012 NHL draft, is the highest ever draft pick to hail from Latvia. He will compete at the Sochi Olympics while Nolan, Latvia's national team coach, mans the bench.

Although his in-game effort hasn't produced much on the scoresheet, Girgensons has missed just one game as a freshman.


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