The Karjala Cup just ended a couple of days ago and now it’s time to go back to it and recap how individual prospects who will likely go to World Juniors for the Czech Republic did. And they did really well. Czech coach Filip Pešán was not scared to start young players and I really loved that. It’s a step in the right direction for Czech hockey and maybe even motivation for other national team’s head coaches. I will start with Draft eligible prospects and move on to the already drafted ones.
While Svozil only played one game at Karjala Cup, 2021 NHL Draft eligible (who ranked 28th in our November rankings) was one of the most noticeable defensemen for the Czech team against Russia. He was paired with Detroit’s top right shot defenseman Filip Hronek. Svozil played just over 19 minutes of ice time and was incredible in what he does best and that is smart defending. Svozil was calm under pressure in every shift, involved physically if necessary, and great defensively. To specify, his defensive gap and ability to read play and cut off the lanes of the attacking team were second to none. Svozil found himself quite often on the right side in defensive parts of the game. I’m not sure if it was Hronek and Svozil’s individual decision as a pair or coaching decision, but he handled it really well. His first pass was excellent throughout the game. He struggled offensively a little bit. But I don’t think that’s a big concern at all.
Kubíček went undrafted in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, so he is eligible for the 2021 Draft as an overager. He was dressed as seventh defensemen for games against Sweden and Finland and did not see any ice time in those two games. But he did see a ton of ice time against Russia. Kubíček played 23:07 minutes against Russia and was pretty good overall. He is a two-way defenseman and showed those capabilities again in that game, being activ