Strong two-way defender who plays big minutes in all situations. Can quarterback a power play and adds value in leagues that count hits and blocks.
Click to Expand
September 2020 – The Red Wings 2nd round pick from 2016 has established himself as a full time NHLer, playing almost 24 minutes a night for Detroit in 2019-2020. He registered nine goals and 22 assists in 65 games while playing all situations for a poor Red Wings squad. His hockey sense is his strongest attribute and it allows him to be effective in all three zones. He is not flashy but he is a creative passer who can lead a breakout and knows when to jump into the rush. His skating is average or slightly above but his smarts and competitiveness will serve him well as he continues to blossom into an impact defender in the NHL. Nick Richard
March 2019 – Mainly due to injuries on the blue line to begin the season, Hronek started out the year with the Red Wings. However, he struggled with his defensive game and was sent back down to Grand Rapids to play more minutes and work on fine-tuning his game without the puck. Since being called back up at the midpoint of the season, Hronek has not looked back. He has been solid all over the ice and has been rewarded with more ice time and more responsibility, including on the power play and penalty kill. The remarkable thing is his offensive game has not suffered in the least, as Hronek put up 23 points in 28 games in the AHL and 16 in his first 40 games as an NHL rookie. Hronek is not a big defenseman, but he plays like one. He enjoys playing a physical game and the challenge of matching up with the opponent’s best players. Fantasy owners can be confident that they have an all-around top-four defender on an upward trajectory going forward. Mark Hillier
March 2018 – As the youngest defender on the Griffins, Hronek has vaulted himself up the Red Wings prospect depth chart with an excellent first full season in the AHL. Hronek currently leads all Griffins defensemen with nine goals, including three on the power play, and 33 points total in 62 games. Hronek will have to compete with Joe Hicketts next year to make the big club. More likely the Wings will want Hronek to percolate a little longer in the minors, but so far the signs are encouraging. Hronek projects as a top-four defenseman with offensive upside and power play potential. Mark Hillier
August 2017 – No one could have asked Hronek to have a better season than the one he just had. Hronek came to North America from the Czech Republic and played for the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL, where he 14 goals and 61 points in 59 games for a 1.03 PPG. He also tallied four points in five World Junior games and played 12 games (10 regular season, two playoff) for the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins, where he had two points. Last season was his one and only season in the OHL, as Hronek will graduate to the pro level this season. At the Red Wings’ development camp this summer, Hronek was consistently praised by the coaching staff for his puck-moving abilities, his hockey IQ and for how much more skilled he was compared to most of the other players at the camp. His offensive ability is undeniable and will most certainly lead him to a power-play quarterback position with the Griffins sooner than later. The young, 170-pound defender will most certainly need to fine-tune some defensive aspects of his game as well get strong if he hopes to be effective at the pro level. Jameson Ewasiuk
January 2017 – The smooth-skating defenseman has continued his impressive first season in North America with a strong performance at the world junior championship. Again representing the Czech Republic, the 19-year-old assumed the role of captain, and he was the right choice as he led his team from the blueline and set the pace for a resilient squad. Finishing with four points in five games, (2G, 2A) his offensive numbers weren’t outstanding, but he logged a significant amount of ice time and was the catalyst off the back end for a team that struggled to score. Effectively leading the breakout after a crisp first pass, he’s not afraid to consistently jump into the rush and take chances in the offensive zone. Blessed with tremendous hockey sense, he’s able to calmly think through the game at a high pace and move the puck out of danger. Hronek is solid and mobile in his own end as well, identifying his defensive responsibility early and never leaving an open scoring threat unchecked near his net. The most reliable veteran on a blueline that includes former first-round pick Jakub Zboril, Hronek played an excellent tournament and will aim to bring this level of play back to a struggling Saginaw team in the Ontario Hockey League. Joseph Highgate
Detroit’s second-round pick signed an entry-level contract after the 18-year-old played with hometown the HC Hradec Kralove U20 team the past two years and let his puck-moving skills catch the eye of Red Wings’ European scout Hakon Andersson. He possesses superb skating ability that kickstarts the play down ice, which he partners with slick hands to make a good first pass out of the zone. He’s shown he can compete with more mature competition, graduating to the HC Hradec Kralove men’s team last season but hasn’t been able to demonstrate his offensive abilities, finishing with only four assists in 40 games. His international numbers are much more respectable, racking up 19 points in 46 games, representing the Czech Republic at the U18, U19 and U20 World Junior Championships the past two seasons. Finishing the season eighth in the NHL Central Scouting European rankings, Hronek provides an all-around game that doesn’t excel in any specific area but is still effective.
The biggest factor to the young Czech’s progress will be acclimatizing to a North American ice surface, which he’s already struggled with early on in development camp this summer. The much-smaller ice has given Hronek trouble on puck retrievals and play in his own corners, but he’s already made some improvements and will continue to develop in Canadian junior next season. After he was selected 14th overall by the Saginaw Spirit in the CHL’s import draft, the Wings announced Hronek would play under the watchful eye of director of player development and fellow countryman Jiri Fischer. Joseph Highgate