Erik Cernak

by olafson1393 on September 25, 2017

Erik Cernak - Photo Courtesy of

Erik Cernak, D

Shoots: R

Height: 6-3

Weight: 203

Born: 1997-05-28

Hometown: Kosice, Slovakia

Drafted: 2nd round, 2015, Los Angeles, 43rd overall






September 2017 - After pairing up with fellow prospect Mikhail Sergachev for much of his Lightning pre-season audition, Cernak has been assigned to the AHL's Syracuse Crunch. Cernak showed surprising flashes of offense while paired up with Sergachev, however in all likelihood that was a blip on the radar. The second-round-pick is showing good potential to eventually develop into a depth shut-down defender, but first will need to prove he is capable of doing so in the AHL. Syracuse doesn't lack defensive depth, so his best chance of earning more ice time could be to find a niche, likely as a penalty-killer and prove himself as a specialist first. Brayden Olafson

May 2017 Cernak's reputation as a defensive specialist remained intact as the Erie Otters make a valiant effort in the Memorial Cup final, only to come up short in the final period. A fan favorite in Erie, Cernak will almost certainly report to the Crunch after training camp, as his defensive development is in need of greater challenges. It will be tough for the Slovak to ever make much of a fantasy impression, even in multi-category leagues, as his offense will likely be insignificant. His somewhat one-dimensional style of play may also impede his progress for some time in the Lightning system. Brayden Olafson


May 2017 The hulking Slovak was an offensive threat for the Otters in the early happenings of the OHL playoffs, but in the deeper competition has trailed off. He remains a strong physical presence for Erie who have benefited from the space that Cernak is able to create for some of the Otters more skilled players.  Cernak, who took a rigid position earlier in the season regarding his professional status in the LA Kings organization has been a significant component to the Otters playoff success. His offensive upside will need to see a drastic improvement in order for him to become a relevant multi-category prospect. Brayden Olafson


February 2017 – After joining the Otters part way through the season, Cernak has slotted right back into his groove as a strong physical presence on the contending CHL leaders. He was moved in the Ben Bishop deal from the crowded King’s farm system to the crowded Lightning farm system where he’ll hope to earn a spot with Syracuse in the fall. Cernak is not considered an offensive weapon in terms of fantasy, and so long as the Lightning blue line remains at its current depth, he will struggle to leapfrog other prospects in the system for a few years.  Brayden Olafson


September 2016 – Cernak spent the 2015-16 season with the Erie Otters. He scored four goals and 11 assists in 41 games (0.37 points per game). His play picked up a bit in the playoffs, when he scored six points in 13 games (0.46 points per game). He also played for Slovakia in the World Junior Championship (U20), playing four games without scoring any points. The bigger story for Cernak this past season, had to do with his expectations. Cernak had been assigned by the Kings to report to the Otters (where he had been drafted), but he refused to report. Rather, he joined the Ontario Reign, where there was not a spot available for him, so he served as a healthy scratch. In late October Cernak finally reported to Erie. It will be interesting to see where he ends up playing this upcoming season, as both Ontario and L.A. will likely have crowded blue-lines again. Philip Kamhi 


October 2015 - After some wrangling, the hulking Slovakian defenseman has finally agreed to join the Erie Otters. Sheng Peng


June 2015 - Kings take Cernak 43rd overall. Zero fantasy value, but should re-evaluate in one to two years to see if any offense develops. Dobber


June 2015 - When you watch Erik Cernak you see a huge defensive defenseman who battles hard in front of his goalie and in the corner capable of using his size to outplay guys physically. Already playing in a men’s league in Slovakia, Cernak is playing with older players and contributing playing a regular shift in the top four D of his team while also playing on both the penalty kill and powerplay. The big man’s most impressive trait is his ability to not take penalties in his battles as in his 50 games at the top level of Slovak hockey in the 2014-2015 season and playoffs Cernak only took 22 penalty minutes. Benjamin Gallant



Fantasy Outlook: C-

Cernak’s ceiling is comparable to Roman Polak of the Toronto Maple leafs. He has developed physically and shows that he is eager to prove himself in the men's game.  



 Cernak with a nasty elbow:



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