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Fantasy Summary

Big-bodied playmaker with good vision and puck protection skills. Will need to improve his mobility and processing speed as he matures but has middle-six NHL potential.


Observations

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December 2023 – Sapovaliv finds himself back on the international stage, representing Czechia for the third time at the 2024 World Junior Championships. He enters the tournament with 12 goals through 27 games played thus far with Saginaw of the OHL, with 6 of those coming with the man advantage. Given his high shooting percentage (sitting at 19.7 and roughly one percentage point above his 18.8 mark through 66 games in his draft+1 season last year), he stands poised to enter the professional ranks with a more well rounded offensive profile as he becomes more comfortable releasing his shot. He hopes to add on to his international track record with Team Czechia alongside names including Jiri Kulich (BUF) and goaltender Michael Hrabal (ARI). Taylor Davis

April 2023 – The Knights’ 2022 second rounder did not make a huge jump offensively this season, but his overall game grew and he came on strong in crunch time, both with his club team in Saginaw and internationally at the World Juniors. Sapovaliv posted an assist-per game in the tournament for Czechia, with time spent on the PK there reflective of his growth as a defensive player. Back with the Spirit, he ultimately tied Dean Lokus and the “exceptional” rookie Michael Misa for the team lead in points before heating up further to a team leading 17 points in 11 playoff games. At the end of the day, it is hard to dislike a player with Sapovaliv’s toolkit, and he stands to enter the pro ranks as one of Vegas’ better forward prospects after one more year of development with the 2024 Memorial Cup host Saginaw. Taylor Davis

 

July 2022 – The Vegas Golden Knights have selected Sapovaliv in the second round of the 2022 NHL Draft, 48th overall. Nick Richard

 

May 2022 – Sapovaliv had a fairly productive season on a weak Saginaw team, netting 18 goals and 34 assists in 68 contests. He followed that up with three points through six games representing Czechia at the U18 World Championships, but his traits and skillset are more intriguing than the production.

Sapovaliv has great size and knows how to use it in order to protect the puck in the offensive zone. He can slow the game down while possessing the puck along the boards, drawing defenders to him and keeping them on his back while creating space to find open teammates. He makes quick reads and keeps a mental snapshot of his surroundings, allowing him to facilitate and sustain possessions efficiently. On occasion, however, he can be a bit overconfident and hold onto the puck for too long or force a low-percentage pass and that is something he will have to manage better as he climbs the ranks and faces more formidable opponents. Sapovaliv isn’t a burner by any means but he is a decent skater for his size and displays surprising agility at times on cutbacks or quick turns along the wall. His effort level on the defensive end is adequate but with his lack of explosiveness, he must focus on maintaining solid positioning while using his reach and quick hands to disrupt plays. He will be a bit of a project but there are a lot of translatable tools in Sapovaliv’s game and he could hear his name called anywhere after the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft. Nick Richard

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 7.5
NHL Certainty 7.5
Country CZE
Position C
Roster Type Junior
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth February 12, 2004
Height 6‘3”
Weight 183 lbs
Drafted 2022 Round 2; Overall: 48

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2017-2018 Rytiri Kladno U16Czechia U1635 5 1823 6|Playoffs2 0 11
 2018-2019 Rytiri Kladno U16Czechia U1638 18 4260 22|Playoffs4 1 34
  Stredocesky kraj U15MMCR7 10 919 2|        
 2019-2020 Rytiri Kladno U17Czechia U1718 9 2736 6|        
  Rytiri Kladno U20DHL Cup14 7 512 2|        
  Rytiri Kladno U20DHL SuperCup8 3 36 2|        
  Czechia U16 (all)International-Jr15 1 67 2|        
 2020-2021 Rytiri Kladno U20Czechia U206 4 711 2|        
  Rytiri KladnoCzechia212 0 33 2|        
  HC Stadion LitomericeCzechia21 0 00 0|        
  Czechia U17 (all)International-Jr3 0 33 0|        
  Czechia U18WJC-183 0 00 0|        
  Czechia U18 (all)International-Jr8 2 24 2|        
 2021-2022 Saginaw SpiritOHL68 18 3452 26|        
  Czechia U18WJC-186 1 23 0|        
  Czechia U18 (all)International-Jr15 2 79 4|        
  Czechia U20WJC-207 2 02 0|        
  Czechia U20 (all)International-Jr11 2 02 2|        
  Czechia U18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup4 1 34 4|        
 2022-2023 Saginaw SpiritOHL61 27 2956 24|Playoffs11 8 917
  Czechia U20WJC-207 0 77 4|        
  Czechia U20 (all)International-Jr9 1 78 6|        
 2023-2024 Saginaw SpiritOHL54 19 4362 22|Playoffs8 1 23
  Czechia U20WJC-207 3 14 4|        
  Czechia U20 (all)International-Jr13 4 26 2|        

Highlights