Libor Hajek

New York Rangers
Jeffrey T. Barnes

Fantasy Summary

A sturdy two-way defenseman who supports the play well and could be capable of moderate contributions in the NHL.


Attributes
Fantasy Upside 6.5
NHL Certainty 6.5
Country CZE
Position D
Roster Type Minors
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth February 4, 1998
Height 6‘2”
Weight 203 lbs
Drafted 2016 Round 2; Overall: 37

Observations

February 2018 – Hajek was dealt to the New York Rangers in a massive deadline deal for Ryan McDonagh and JT Miller. Hajek has put together strong numbers as a two-way defender in the WHL and really broke out at the most recent World Junior Championships. He brings great mobility, poise and playmaking skills and can contribute in all situations. He’ll be looked at as a potential replacement for McDonagh down the road. Cam Robinson

January 2018 – Hajek had a breakout tournament in Buffalo at the 2018 World Junior Championships as part of the unusually strong Czech Republic squad. The return on Anthony Deangelo finished the tournament second in points among defensemen with six, and was consistently the top minute-muncher for the Czech’s totaling in excess of 30:00 minutes on ice in multiple outings. He also received player of the game honors in two outings; one, despite finishing a minus-5 versus the United States in the Bronze Medal loss. To conclude the tournament, Hajek was named one of the Czech’s three Players of the Tournament, and despite the fourth place finish, certainly boosted his offensive stock and name recognition in fantasy circles. Brayden Olafson

Hajek has been traded to the Memorial Cup host Regina Pats where he will join recently acquired Cale Fleury and Josh Mahura to anchor one of the top defensive units in the entire CHL. Hajek will play big minutes in a likely long playoff run with a guarantee big game experience in the Memorial Cup to conclude his junior career. Peter Harling

September 2017 – After being pegged in my August 31-in-31 series as a player with a potentially diminishing fantasy value among Lightning prospects, Hajek has come into the NHL pre-season firing on all cylinders. In his second outing against the Hurricanes, Hajek was one of the most impressive players on the Lightning roster. Hajek plays with an active stick in the defensive zone, and was an effective penalty killer in his 4 minutes and 30 seconds of time on the kill. He’s a fluid skater and can transition the puck quickly in the neutral zone to create offense. Hajek was cut by the Lightning after his second preseason game and returned to the Saskatoon Blades for his final year of junior – he’ll be eligible for the AHL in 2018-19. Brayden Olafson

July 2017 – The Saskatoon Blades star defender’s rights were retained by his junior team, as well as fellow European Mark Rubinchik prior to the 2017 CHL Import draft. The declaration meant that the Blades would be unable to participate in the draft, as they did not hold the roster space to add another Euro skater. Blades general manager Colin Priestner said that, “…we feel Libor Hajek’s going to be one of the top defensemen in the league next year as a 19-year-old, and he’s a big part of our d-core.” It wouldn’t have been worth the risk for the Blades to participate in what he called a “frustrating” process (Import draft). Libor will certainly earn a look with the Lightning in training camp, and likely preseason action, however, has been bumped down in the Lightnings prospect pool with the acquisition of Mikhail Sergachev. Libor remains a valuable asset for the Lightning, but the Lightning are ensuring that he will be properly seasoned before they force him into a situation unfitting of his development. Brayden Olafson

February 2017 – Libor’s 2016 campaign has resulted in a notable improvement in offensive production. He has a firm grasp on the position of top blue-line prospect for the Lightning, however with Jake Dotchin being provided the current opportunity, he will likely be offered some AHL seasoning before another chance presents itself. The Lightning have some expensive defensive contracts coming off the books in the next two to three years so expect Libor to be first in line to take over when the time comes. Brayden Olafson

 

June 2016 – The Lightning traded up to take Hajek in the second round of the 2016 NHL draft. Hajek was the pick Tampa received for Anthony DeAngelo. Hajek is a two-way defender with some physical upside. Tends to ramp up his play when a game is on the line, but that can lead to poor decisions. Hajek will need to develop offensively and work on his decision-making in junior for a year or two. Max Marko


Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2010-2011 HCM Warrior Brno U16 Czech U16 2 - - - - - |          
  HC Kometa Brno U16 Czech U16 3 0 1 1 2 |          
 2011-2012 HC Kometa Brno U16 Czech U16 32 4 6 10 12 |          
  HC Kometa Brno U18 Czech U18 2 0 0 0 0 |          
 2012-2013 HC Kometa Brno U16 Czech U16 4 0 1 1 2 | Playoffs 5 0 0 0
  HC Kometa Brno U18 Czech U18 43 1 3 4 57 | Playoffs 3 0 1 1
  Czech Republic U16 (all) International-Jr 17 0 2 2 18 |          
 2013-2014 HC Kometa Brno U18 Czech U18 32 4 14 18 24 | Playoffs 10 0 7 7
  HC Kometa Brno U20 Czech U20 13 0 1 1 10 |          
  Czech Republic U17 WHC-17 5 0 1 1 4 |          
  Czech Republic U17 (all) International-Jr 24 1 3 4 10 |          
 2014-2015 HC Kometa Brno U18 Czech U18 2 1 2 3 4 |          
  HC Kometa Brno U20 Czech U20 44 1 9 10 62 | Playoffs 1 0 0 0
  HC Kometa Brno Czech 17 0 1 1 2 | Playoffs 7 0 0 0
  Czech Republic U18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup 5 0 1 1 4 |          
  Czech Republic U18 WJC-18 5 1 0 1 4 |          
  Czech Republic U18 (all) International-Jr 24 2 1 3 14 |          
 2015-2016 Saskatoon Blades WHL 69 3 23 26 76 |          
  Czech Republic U18 WJC-18 5 0 2 2 6 |          
  Czech Republic U18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup 4 0 1 1 4 |          
  Czech Republic U18 (all) International-Jr 10 0 3 3 12 |          
 2016-2017 Saskatoon Blades WHL 65 4 22 26 81 |          
  Syracuse Crunch AHL 8 1 0 1 4 |          
  Czech Republic U20 (all) International-Jr 2 0 0 0 0 |          
 2017-2018 Saskatoon Blades WHL 33 8 17 25 26 |          
  Regina Pats WHL 25 4 10 14 4 | Playoffs 4 1 0 1 12 
  Regina Pats M-Cup 5 1 2 3 2 |          
  Czech Republic U20 WJC-20 7 1 7 8 6 |          
  Czech Republic U20 (all) International-Jr 8 1 6 7 0 |          
 2018-2019 Hartford Wolf Pack AHL 26 0 3 3 20 |          

Highlights