Birth Date: 10/12/1981
Birth Country: Slovakia (Stara Lubovna)
Year Drafted: 2000
Round Drafted: 1
Overall Choice: 16
HW 2004 Mid-Season Scouting Report
I was somewhat shocked when he was sent back to Hamilton earlier this year as I thought his game had been improving, if only mildly, on a consistent basis. Perhaps it wasn’t at a fast enough rate for the staff and perhaps they felt he needed to go down and regain his confidence fully, either way he’s down now and hopefully putting things together.
What pleased me most about his game was the way he won most of his board battles. Up until this year, there had been precious few who’d done this on a consistent basis. The disappointing thing seemed to be a lack of intensity anywhere else in the rink, and as I look back and look at the present Hab team as it is now, I understand where he doesn’t fit in terms of work ethic. He’s barely an average passer, at least by NHL standards, but his shot is high quality. Defensively he’s learned a lot and I think would benefit sitting on Juneau’s wing for a while. What he needs most, though, is that desire.
Where this leaves him in the grand scheme is a good question. He’s probably good trade bait except that he’s a left winger, and those seem to be in somewhat short supply at the moment in terms of depth. Honestly, I can’t see him back in Montreal this year except in the case of heavy injuries, but with an honest effort he might make it next year. Of course, then he’ll have a few other kids who will be nearing readiness as well.
Strengths: Good size and skating. Has very quick release on his wrist shot. Good playmaker and decent speed. A threat in the offensive zone. Strong on his skates, can handle himself along the boards and in his own end.
Weaknesses: Lack of confidence and consistency are his main weaknesses, along with lacking intensity. Needs to shoot more often, as he looks to pass first. Lack of physical play is a concern as well. Needs to learn how to use his size to his advantage, and bring his game every night
Source: Dan Linn, HW Prospects Editor