2018 NHL Draft: Top Overage Players at World Junior



by Steve Kournianos

With a lot of attention every year going to the first time eligible NHL Entry Draft eligible prospects at the World Junior it is easy to overlook the players competing for their countries that were passed over in the draft and will be hoping to be drafted as an overager in the coming draft.With this in mind, our NHL Draft columnist Steve Kournianos from the DraftAnalyst this month looks at the top performers from the World Junior that are eligible for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft as overage prospects.

1. G Roman Durny (Slovakia, 5/28/98): Sometimes all it takes is one game to completely change the fortunes of an underdog looking to make a statement that they belong. In the case of the Slovaks, you can point to the play of Durny, whose heroic performance in group play against a ferocious American attack resulted in the upset of the tournament. Facing an average of over 30 shots a game, the young netminder finished second with a .929% save percentage. Although it was Sweden’s Filip Gustavsson who took home the tournament’s top goaltender award, Durny clearly established himself as a puck stopper with high upside. His positioning was nothing short of textbook, and he looked both poised and confident with chaos unfolding in front of his net.


2. RW Daniel Kurovsky (Czech Republic, 3/4/98): An absolute horse of a power forward, especially along the boards, Kurovsky made a habit of requiring opponents to add two, sometimes three players to knock him off the puck. His size (6’4/198) plays a big role in his style of play, but he’s got soft hands, has a quick shot/release combo, moves extremely well and thinks the game at a high level. His quick footwork and long reach were used on the penalty kill, and his in-your-face style created problems for point men. Additionally, Kurovsky never seemed fazed by playing in traffic with or without the puck.


3. C Yegor Sharangovich (Belarus, 6/6/98): The top player for the now-relegated Belorussians teamed up with Flyers’ prospect Maxim Sushko to form one of the tournament’s top duos. A big, rangy center with very good speed and an excellent shot, Sharangovich logged the most ice time among forwards and played in every conceivable situation, to include the penalty kill. He plays with his head up, and his quick feet, specifically pivoting and edges, are obvious during lengthy cycles.


4. RW Samuel Bucek (Slovakia, 12/19/98): Buoyed by the chemistry with linemates Adam Ruzicka (CGY) and Filip Krivosik (2018 draft), Bucek and his mates used their size and reach to wear down opponents, especially the smaller puck movers. Keep in mind that the Slovaks didn't have the puck that often, but when they did, it was usually Bucek who made due in the offensive zone despite a race against the clock. His compete level throughout the last few seasons was something that fluctuated to the extremes. But Bucek, who led the Slovaks in points with seven, proved in Buffalo that he is next to impossible to stop when he’s dialed in.


5. C Kristian Reichel (Czech Republic, 6/11/98): Reichel was a kid I always kept my eye on, and felt he should have been picked in either of the last two drafts. A two-way center with deceptive speed and the ability to finish in a variety of ways, Reichel scored three noteworthy goals despite acquiescing bigger minutes to younger pivots Martin Necas and Filip Chytil. He logged close to 16 minutes a game as a third-line center, and despite the Czechs’ struggles on the penalty kill, Reichel showed quickness, sacrifice and made smart r