While the Czech Republic pipeline of players has been slowing down the last decade or so, it still isn’t quite dead. They still produce talent that can compare to any other nation. Names like Jakub Voracek and David Pastrnak immediately come to mind when thinking about their development. Do the Red Wings have a winner in Filip Hronek?
By The Numbers
I touched on Hronek’s numbers when I wrote his draft preview last month. He dominated the Czech junior league, but that is a lot like winning a hot dog eating contest at the county fair. Even if you’re the best guy around, there’s often not a lot of competition.
Anytime a player can go for above a point per game in any league, no matter the validity, you have to be happy with it. It is also very encouraging to see that this wasn’t just one season where Hronek dominated. He had himself a string of good seasons leading up to his draft year. Don’t sleep on him just yet.
His development path is going to be fascinating to monitor. He could stay over in the Czech Republic and play in the pro league or he can play in the OHL. The Saginaw Spirit selected Hronek with the 16th pick in the first round of the CHL Import Draft. Normally, CHL teams don’t select a player unless they think they can come over here and play ASAP.
“To get him over on a North American rink, on the smaller ice surface, will be very beneficial,” Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin told the Free Press. “He’s a good skater and he moves the puck well, but on a smaller ice surface, the timing is different. So this will be really beneficial for his development as he prepares to turn pro.”
If he does end up going back to Europe, it doesn’t really matter either way, as he has proven his worth whenever a team has taken a chance on him. I think Hronek will end up much higher on this list come next year.
It was also announced today that Hronek signed a standard three-year entry level contract.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) July 14, 2016