Strong two-way defender who controls the ice in all three zones. Has the potential to grow into a top pairing defenseman at the NHL level.
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November 2023 – For a 2nd Overall Pick, one would expect them to be in the NHL within a year, and usually when it’s seen as a failure if that can’t happen, but in Simon Nemec’s case, it’s the bad luck of New Jersey being stacked on defense. On almost any other team, Nemec would have made the jump by now. There’s still some work to be done on his overall game, having been a bit shaky coming back from an early season injury. There’s a lot of promise in him but there’s going to have to be a lot of patience from fans that come with it. – Austin Kelly
July 2022 – Nemec’s selection at second overall by the Devils was one of need, as the team’s lack of high-end right-handed defense prospects was the main driver of their decision. Given that Shane Wright and Logan Cooley were still available, the team could probably have traded back a couple spots and still gotten their guy. Nemec’s ceiling is that of a top-pair defender, especially given his tremendous skating, puck skills and vision. He is more likely to return to HK Nitra for another year or play in the AHL for a season than he is to start the year in the NHL, however. Those seem like two excellent options to further his development and allow him to make mistakes in order to improve his decision-making by trial-and-error. Hadi Kalakeche
July 2022 – Nemec has been selected by the New Jersey Devils with the second overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. Nick Richard
December 2021 – Nemec cemented himself as one of the top prospects in the 2022 draft with an outstanding showing as the captain of Slovakia’s silver medal winning squad at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup over the summer. He played huge minutes throughout the event, picking up six points in five games on his way to tournament MVP honors. All he has done since is return to Tipos Extraliga and put up more than twice as many points as the next highest scoring U20 defenceman in the league. Nemec is still DobberProspects’ highest ranked defenceman for the 2022 NHL Draft through the midway point of the season. Nick Richard
September 2021 – Nemec has already shown poise beyond his years, earning a regular role in Slovakia’s top professional league in his draft-1 season. Just 16-years-old to begin the season, he suited up in 37 regular season contests and led Nitra blue liners in scoring with 19 points while playing close to 17 minutes per game. He emerged as one of Slovakia’s best players at last year’s World Junior Championships and after representing his country at the Men’s World Championships, starred as captain at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup for the Silver Medal winning Slovak squad.
If you follow football or basketball, you’ve surely heard a quarterback referred to as a “field general” or a point guard labeled a “floor general” and those terms come to mind when watching Šimon Nemec. He is a mature, intelligent defender who always looks to be in control of what is happening on the ice. Nemec sees the ice incredibly well, pushing play from the back end and breaking down defensive coverages with efficient puck distribution in the offensive zone. He is a fluid skater with good four-way mobility and is able to shake oncoming forecheckers to start the breakout. He anticipates the game at a high level, being proactive on the offensive side of the puck as well as the defensive side. The young Slovak maintains strong gap control in defensive transition, uses his stick effectively to take away time and space, and is rarely caught out of position in defensive zone coverage. His advanced defensive game, skating ability, and offensive upside should make him one of the first names off the board in the 2022 NHL Draft. Nick Richard