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Chlapík Makes Immediate Impact in QMJHL Opening Weekend

By on September 17, 2014 in North American with 0 Comments

By Margann Laurissa, CHL special for The Czech List

Filip Chlapík came advertised as one of the best prospects available for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Has he ever delivered.

Only two games into his QMJHL career with the Charlottetown Islanders, Chlapík has made a significant impact. The Czech centre, who was chosen with the eleventh overall pick in the 2014 CHL Import Draft, was immediately thrust into regular playing time. The Islanders’ season opener came against the Saint John Sea Dogs, allowing for Chlapík to play against a fellow countryman, as defenceman Jakub Zbořil was also making his QMJHL début that night. (In fact, Zbořil recorded his own first QMJHL career point, an assist, that night.) Chlapík found himself playing on a line with Dutch-born sophomore forward Daniel Sprong and 2014 second-round pick Samuel Guilbault, assisting on Sprong’s third-period goal to tie the game 2-2. In addition to that, he was highly proficient in the faceoff circle; out of 21 draws taken by the rookie, he won fourteen of them, good enough for a 66.7% faceoff percentage. Perhaps what truly endeared Chlapík to his new team and their fans was him scoring the shootout-winning goal, allowing for them to take the victory.

The next night, Chlapík and his teammates were at it again, this time against the Halifax Mooseheads. Although the Mooseheads came away with a seemingly controversial 6-5 overtime victory, the Islanders got a great outing from their Czech rookie sensation. At 14:57 of the first period, Chlapík scored his first QMJHL career goal to tie the game 1-1 after Morgan Nauss made it a 1-0 Halifax lead early in the frame. Late in the third period, Mooseheads left winger Kelly Bent received a five-minute major penalty for boarding, giving the Islanders a significant man advantage. Thanks to Chlapík, the team made paydirt, scoring two goals in 27 seconds; 2014 first-round pick Mitchell Balmas and third-year forward Kameron Kielly both tallied with assists going to Chlapík. Thanks to that, in addition to being 6-for-16 in the faceoff circle, the seventeen-year-old rookie was named the game’s first star. In an article posted on the Islanders’ team website, with regards to recording his first QMJHL career snipe, Chlapík was quoted as saying, “I’m very happy. It’s amazing because I’m from the Czech and I’m happy I scored the goal.”

Up next for Chlapík and the Islanders is a two-game series at home against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

***

Other Czech QMJHL Notes:

– As noted, Jakub Zbořil recorded an assist in his QMJHL début with the Saint John Sea Dogs; he also has a plus-1 ranking in two games thus far.

– Second-year Gatineau Olympiques forward Václav Karabáček and third-year Rimouski Océanic defenceman Jan Košťálek were both absent during the QMJHL opening weekend; they were both at rookie tournaments with the Buffalo Sabres and the Winnipeg Jets, respectively.

– In his own QMJHL début, Val-d’Or Foreurs rookie defenceman Daniel Krenželok recorded an assist on a goal by Stephen Anderson, in addition to registering a plus-1 ranking, as the defending President’s Cup champions knocked off the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 4-2.

– Victoriaville Tigres rookie defenceman Filip Pyrochta has a plus-1 ranking in two games thus far. In addition, the Tigres’ other Czech import, Jihlava native Jan Mandát, has been named an alternate captain for this season. The sophomore forward, who will be turning 19 in November, had 33 points (twelve goals, 21 assists) and 41 penalty minutes in 61 games last year.

Photo courtesy of charlottetownsislanders.com

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