SCOUTING REPORT IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
Future Considerations presents scouting reports on top Czech players from the recent Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.
D Libor Hájek 6’0”, 190 lbs [1998-02-04] = 2016 … defensive defenseman that is so mature defensively compared to what I saw in him last year and compared to most of his peers. He’s from Brno and all the guys from Brno are physical, just like him. And it’s not just the normal body checking, he can also deck you pretty hard. You don’t want to disturb the goalie when he’s around. He’s got offensive upside as well, he’s a good skater with great speed and his hands are worth a look at, too. Liked his patience and character overall.
D Martin Weinhold 5’10”, 168 lbs [1997-02-22] = 2015 … should be considered a serious draft prospect for the later rounds. Versatile defenseman that uses all of his size for physical play and he does that really well. Great positioning, impressive around his own net. Great effort during penalty kill as well and he’s a fast skater, too. He makes too many mistakes, but the assets are there, he just needs to get better and all can turn into a good career. Kind of reminds me of what Mašín was at last year’s Ivan Hlinka.
C Filip Chlapík 6’1”, 183 lbs [1997-06-03] = 2015 … flashy forward with character flaws, but he’s still a kid so he might be able to overcome that eventually. His shot is nothing exceptional, except for his one-timer that might stun a goalie. Great passer and great carrier of the puck that also has really good hands. Doesn’t hesitate to use his body to his advantage and besides playing smart hockey, he’s also doing his best defensively, often coming away with the puck on the backcheck. Also often he turns the puck over himself for no reason and sometimes you can see lack of discipline in his game. Still I believe he’s getting drafted in June.
D Jakub Zbořil 6’1”, 187 lbs [1997-02-21] = 2015 … versatile defenseman that’s got all it takes to become a first-rounder and a top-pair defenseman in the NHL. His shot is just a beauty, I haven’t seen such a good shot on a Czech junior in years. It’s pretty accurate and it’s as hard as they come. The one-timer can just score a powerplay goal any time he decides it’s time to unleash it. He’s no big-time passer, but he’s not bad at it either. That makes him a good enough powerplay quarterback and from what I’ve seen, he’s constantly getting better at that. Has great vision and is also a solid carrier of the puck. Joins the rush pretty often. Doesn’t go down easy, but likes to deck a player or two in every game. Sometimes you don’t see it coming even though you can anticipate some of the biggest hits. With Zbořil, you just sometimes don’t. And it’s a great feeling just watching that happen. Good on penalty kill, but not great. Plays smart hockey, but makes mistakes. I think you’re looking at a less mature, less complete version of Aaron Ekblad.
F David Kaše 5’10”, 150 lbs [1997-01-28] = 2015 … captain of the team and a true leader. He’s determined, great under pressure and just has a lot of leadership. Fast skater that uses that carrying the puck forward and also while backchecking which he does very often. Great passer with amazing vision, also has really smooth hands. Should fire the puck more than he has and to succeed he’ll also need to become a more consistent performer. I’d draft him, probably around fifth round or so.
F Filip Suchý 5’8”, 172 lbs [1997-12-16] = 2016 … we found a new star. Suchý was so good that he even played for Under-20 national team two weeks later. Team player that impresses you how good of a carrier he is. He’s determined and he carries the puck like an NFL running back, if there’s someone looking to hit him, he just avoids him. Spends a lot of time on the doorstep and does that really well. Good powerplay quarterback, sometimes playing as fake D during PP. Has a really good shot and is a really efficient forechecker. Possible early rounds prospect for 2016.
F Michal Gago 5’10”, 168 lbs [1997-11-11] = 2016 … gotta love how he modestly waited for his opportunity and when he got it, he just played amazing hockey. Great passer that’s also a good skater and has hands good enough to pull off a great deke at times. Also has great vision which makes his passes even more dangerous. Character forward that goes down to block any kind of shot during penalty kill. Should work on his skating, especially he’s not fast enough.
F Jan Dufek 5’11”, 172 lbs [1997-02-20] = 2015 … really liked this guy as well. Gives it a lot more than 100 percent all the time and he’s as determined as they come. Physical presence, too. Likes to carry the puck and is well on his way to perfect the art of a deflection. Probably won’t be drafted as there’s not much skill, but you gotta appreciate a guy that battles so much.
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