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Future Considerations Scouting Report, October Edition

By on October 12, 2014 in Player Draft with 14 Comments
Vaclav Karabacek (Photo by La Presse)

Vaclav Karabacek (Photo by La Presse)


Tomas Andrlik, LHD, Prince Albert Raiders, 6-0, 189, DOB 10.6.1995
This is Andrlik’s second year of eligibility as a late-95. He was on my radar last year, coming in at 14th on my list among draft-eligible Eastern Conference defencemen. He’s really picked up where he left off, too. He’s a strong skater with a smooth stride. He looks light on his feet and really gets around the ice well. He’s got good offensive instincts, displaying the ability to get open along the point, letting go a couple of very hard one-timers in this game after using nice footwork to get into proper shooting position. He also showed a nice ability to distribute the puck on the powerplay, which he was quarterbacking on the first unit. He scored a great goal in the game, going end to end, walking through defenders and doing a good job shielding the puck. He’s nothing to write home about defensively, but does make some smart plays with the puck. Good hockey sense in that regard. I like this kid.

Daniel Krenzelok, LH-D, Val d’Or Foreurs, 6-3, 175 lbs, 29-07-1997
Krenzelok had an okay game. He showed some good things but also some things that had me scratch my head. Daniel was able to generate a pretty good top speed while skating the puck in the neutral zone with his long stride. His mobility is not the best, looked like he was still growing into his body. He is not the most fluid skater either. I didn’t really notice his passing play because he was trying to skate with the puck most of the time. This caused a couple of turnovers in his zone or just above his blue line in the neutral zone, as he over handled the puck or was stopped by a player back checking. His puck skills were average also but he could control the puck well at times. He was not the best at protecting his puck while skating with it either. I didn’t saw any shots form him in the game so I can’t evaluate this part of his game so far. His physical play was poor, especially considering his size, he also seemed to be scared to be hit at times which I didn’t really liked. Hockey sense is poor to average but he would join the rush at times during the game. I will have to look at him again to have a good assessment of his defensive game but he made a lot of turnovers. I think Krenzelok has some potential, I think he is still adapting to the league and to his new team. Right now I don’t think he is draft worthy but after more look at him this could change if he progress well this season.

Vaclav Karabacek, RW, Gatineau Olympiques, 6’0, 190, DOB 05.02.1996
Although Karabacek was slotted as the second line right winger, he saw top minutes tonight and rightfully so. Karabacek was very impressive throughout the game and what really stood out was his outstanding play in both ends of the ice. Karabacek has all of the tools as well. He is a big body and is very strong along the wall and hard to knock off the puck. He may have been the hardest working player on the ice tonight and it showed on the score sheet as he was able to pick up a goal and an assist along with the first star of the game honours. His goal came on a 2 on 2 rush. Entering the Baie-Comeau zone, Carrier was able to throw a crisp pass through two defenders and Karabacek got his shot of right away leaving the goalie no chance to get across in time. His assist came when he entered the offensive zone on the right side and slipped a nice 10 foot pass under a defender’s stick to a teammate who was able to fire a nice shot from just outside the hash marks. He worked extremely hard, kept his feet moving at all times and finished most of his checks, but he did not always work smart. There were times when it seemed like he was trying to do everyone else’s job in the defensive zone and he got caught running around. At times in the defensive zone, you could not tell which position he was playing but luckily for him he never got burnt. He is a very good 2-way power forward, with good skating ability, pretty good hands and an average shot but needs to work on defensive zone positioning to be even more effective.

Jiri Smejkal, Forward, Moose Jaw Warriors, 6-3, 195, 1996-11-05
This was my first viewing of the Czech import in a home and home series with the Brandon Wheat Kings. Primarily a winger, Smejkal ended up logging considerable minutes as a center on his line, as well as playing ample time on the power play and penalty kill. A good sized player, Smejkal played a North American style of hockey right from the get go. His grittiness and willingness to embrace the play made him a useful cog in the defensive zone, exhibiting quality puck pursuit skills and efficiency in taking the body without taking himself out of his position. His skating is on point with most of his peers, exhibiting an ability to accelerate and gain speed quickly. His lateral skating and footwork is not tidy, but still effective enough to not exploit him. Smejkal showed that his game is more an energy type, seldom getting solid looks in the offensive zone but he also had flashes of an offensive game from time to time. His primary chances came when the play was slowed on the power play. Smejkal showed quality vision and puck movement skills, threading passes with above average difficulty to create chances for teammates. He used his big frame a few times to drive the net that generated a couple shots on goal, none of which he converted on. He was unable to register a point in this game; however he looks to be more of a playmaker than a shooter at this point. One viewing is of course not enough to determine whether this theory is accurate but, I did like his compete effort and confidence in this game. It will be interesting to see where his point production will be at the end of this year. He is likely to play a top 6 role on a weaker Warriors team; however I don’t see him as a big scorer at this level, or as a pro. Personally, I believe Smejkal projects as an energy or checking line forward with some offensive upside.

Jakub Zboril 2LD, PP, 6’2, 185 LD
Zboril is a silky smooth defender with an an elite understanding of where the play is headed. Amazing feet for a 6’2 17 year old, and constantly made high end reads on the breakout.. Could not seem to actually be pressured by forecheckers as his feet simply waned them off. Defensively, he doesn’t like to initiate and uses his stick more than his body. His reads were solid and he knew who to cover but only showed an edge if someone pissed him off after the whistle. Shot is elite, looks like he’s one-timing pucks lightly but he had the hardest shot of the game. Juraj Siska is a nice skater with good co-ordination and puck skills. Very nice, accurate shot and sniped a disallowed goal in the 2nd. Not a fan of his compete level.

Pavel Zacha, LHC, Sarnia Sting, 6-3, 210, DOB 4. 6. 1997
Zacha was the second high profile addition to the Sting after his selection in the 2014 CHL Import Draft. With a lot of high expectations going into his draft year, Zacha was a bit of a disappointment in this game. The fact that it was the first game of the regular season, and some players suffering from bus legs, could have played a pivotal part in Zacha’s less than stellar showing. Zacha is, however, a big, strong, forward, who skates diligently, and makes the right reads. You can see his game breaking ability, and how he can slow the game down with his impressive stick handling ability and vision. On two occasions he had scoring opportunities in the slot, but couldn’t finish. He had a little trouble with the breakout in the early goings of the first period, but came along strong afterwards, using his impressive skating ability, and big frame to protect the puck and enter the zone. Definitely the kind of player that flourishes when he has control of the puck, and is the one making the decisions. Zacha is definitely not shy from mixing it up in front of the net, and along the boards. His two way game needs a lot of work, although he was one of the few Sting players that wasn’t a minus on the night, he has coverage issues in his own zone, which lead to good opportunities for the Hounds.

Adam Musil, Centre, Red Deer Rebels, 6’3″, 193lbs, 03/26/97
Musil is one of my personal favourites for this years draft and he didn’t disappoint in this game. He already brings NHL size and is an imposing force on the ice with his combination of strength and speed. I really like his versatility in the offensive end as well, he rarely gets bottled up as he is equally adept at finding teammates or attacking himself. Musil has a long powerful stride and shows good balance. While he showcased solid top end speed in my viewings last year, I noticed much improved acceleration and quicker feet in this game. Overall, Musil is a very adept skater, especially for his size. Musil isn’t a dynamic puckhandler however he has good control over the puck and protects the it well when attacking the net. He also maintains his execution and control even when moving at high speeds. Musil is adept at moving the puck. He is patient and composed and shows good execution in all his passes. He delivers crisp, tape to tape passes and also has a wicked saucer pass. While he is an excellent passer, Musil keeps defenders honest with a strong shot and a willingness to unleash it. Musil is a hard worker and never takes a shift off. Unlike many energy players however he picks his spots to apply pressure and shows solid hockey sense in both the defensive and offensive zones. One area Musil needs to work on however is on the faceoff dot. I am very high on Musil and at this point I think he’s worthy of a 1st round pick.

It was a bit of an off night it seemed for Musil as he was invisible for pretty much the entire game. He didn’t seem to have the same amount of jump in his step, although his skating still appeared to be a strength for a large player. Musil continued to show good forecheck involvement and very good cycle work on both the offensive and defensive sides of the game. He looked to be fighting the puck at times, trying to do too much and not making much of an impact. I feel that Musil is a very solid second round player at this point, and if he can show me a little more offensive consistency and execution he could creep into the first round. High ceiling player.

Musil played a strong game, he has improved in almost every aspect of the game since last season. He added about 15 pounds and looks like a real force out there. The first thing I will note is that Musil does not wait for the game to come to him, he is an in-your-face player.Very strong skater, above average acceleration with decent agility. He is very crouched over when he skates, which seems to make him look shorter than he actually is. Musil showed very good creativity on this night, using his combination of skill and competitiveness to generate offense. Added a nice assist in the 2nd period after stripping a defenseman and feeding his teammate for a shorthanded breakaway. True north/south player that doesn’t waste many strides on the ice. Had a good physical presence, especially on the forecheck where he seemed to really make his mark on the game. Musil thinks the game at a high level, maintained a good position while showing good instincts when he took a chance to break up a play in the defensive zone. Had a very hard shot, seemed to have a ton of heat behind his wristers, but was not able to get himself to enough shooting areas throughout the game. Overall I loved Musil’s effort tonight. His game can be described using NHL GM’s favorite adjectives- fast, skilled, heavy, intense, competitive – and the list goes on. He has great bloodlines and still has a lot of room to grow. 6’3″ 200-foot centers do not grow on trees. I like Musil as a potentail late-first rounder. I feel as though he still lacks a bit of flexibility in his game, as his puckhandling and body movements seem a bit rigid at times-although he’s already improved in this area since the Ivan Hlinka Camp. Projects as a 2-3 center that can play in all situations. Good bloodlines too.

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