A highly skilled, creative winger with a good work rate off the puck. Needs to improve his ability to play through traffic but has the potential to grow into a top-six forward in the NHL.
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June 2023 – Mesar disappointed in the playoffs this season, with four points in nine games for the Kitchener Rangers. While the Rangers did sweep the first seed Windsor Spitfires, Mesar was left in a bottom-six role that didn’t do much for him. There is a lot of work Mesar has to put in to become an NHLer, but the speed and craftiness of his game are still very compelling. Canadiens management could throw him into a new situation in Laval next season, or give him another shot at major junior. Aaron Itovitch
January 2023 – Many have been critical of Mesar’s OHL production. Coming from a far superior league, it was somewhat of a surprise when the Canadiens opted to send Mesar down to Kitchener rather than playing him in the AHL with Laval. The 19-year-old is exactly a point-per-game, with 10 goals and 15 assists in 25 games, and he recently broke a five-game pointless streak. However, it must be considered that Mesar is still adapting to North American ice, and that the Kitchener Rangers are far from a competitive team. Mesar’s interior-driven play is starting to develop on smaller ice, but he still has a long way to go until he becomes an effective middle-six NHL winger. He has very impressive speed, which looks even more elite on this smaller ice. As he grows stronger, his stride is only bound to improve. He has great hockey IQ, but there are question marks about defensive awareness, becoming inherently obvious on an offense-first Kitchener team. There is a lot to like with Mesar, whose points definitely don’t tell the whole story. Aaron Itovitch
July 2022 – Not only did the Habs draft Slafkovsky’s best friend in Filip Mešar, but they drafted a damn good hockey player. Mešar is a highly-skilled forward who plays a game based on pace. He executes complex plays with great speed. Some of his real strengths include his vision, scanning ability, agility, and motor. He may be undersized but he attempts to get physically involved, which should become more effective as he fills out his frame and most importantly adds lower body strength. Mešar is an excellent puck carrier in transition. This would further improve if he learns to incorporate East-West movement as a puck carrier; his current North-South style is relatively predictable. Offensively, Mešar is very intelligent. His off-puck movement is calculated and allows him to get open in dangerous areas, while his playmaking ability is his real weapon. He uses his hands and agility to draw defenders’ attention, change the angle of attack, and open up passing lanes which he is quite capable of exploiting to create high-danger scoring chances. The only element of Mešar’s game that makes his NHL projection a question mark is his ability to consistently attack the middle, which is directly linked with his physicality. He’s shown flashes of lowering the shoulder and driving the net, which is very impressive, but he will need to learn to do so more consistently. While Mešar himself stated that he sees himself as a winger in the NHL during his post-draft press conference, I like him more at center as it really enables his intelligence, agility, and playmaking to shine. I’d be very interested to see if the Canadiens’ development team agrees with me. Either way, the Habs added a skilled forward with clear second-line upside. Mešar will either play in the AHL, OHL, or SHL this season, all of which represent interesting options. My only preference is that he does not start in the AHL, the Habs have a very recent example of how playing a young skilled European forward in the AHL before they’re ready for it can backfire (Jan Mysak). Sebastian High
July 2022 – Mesar has been selected by the Montreal Canadiens with the 26th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. Nick Richard
December 2021 – Already in his second full season in Slovakia’s top pro league, Mesar is third in Tipos Extraliga scoring among all U20 players. He was also one of Slovakia’s top performers on the way to a silver medal finish at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Mesar is a highly-skilled, creative offensive player who excels as a puck carrier. He has a smooth skating stride and scans the play with the puck on his stick, identifying his options to attack space and utilize his open teammates. His shot is deceptive and he can let it go from multiple release points but needs to get it off from dangerous areas more consistently. Mesar is a high-end puck handler who has the ability to beat defenders one-on-one but he can get caught between trying to do too much on his own or spending too much time playing on the perimeter. He has good intentions, however, and his work rate off the puck is reflective of that. Mesar still needs to work on playing through traffic and being more deliberate in the offensive zone but the raw skills he possesses could prove difficult to pass up in the middle of the first round. Nick Richard