Welcome back to Top Shelf Hockey Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2014 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Sports is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! For a Complete Listing of all our 2014 Draft Articles Click here.
Christian Dvorak was a rookie with the London Knights this season, and spent most of his time on the clubs third line. The statistics he put up may not be huge (14 points in 33 games), but Dvorak seemed to be settling in and earning a spot in the top six when he suffered a devastating knee injury that would cause him to miss the second half of the season and the OHL playoffs. He would return to help the Knights in the Memorial Cup, but it was a disappointing exit for the team who lost three straight games to be eliminated in the tournament on home ice. For those wondering there is no relation between Christian and Radek Dvorak.
Left Wing — shoots Left
Born Feb 2 1996 — Frankfort, IL
Height 6.00 — Weight 178 [183 cm/81 kg]
While he seemed to have some rust at the Memorial Cup, as he was out of the lineup for quite some time we are going to base this scouting report on what Christian Dvorak looked like prior to the injury. Dvorak is a very good skater with above average top-end speed and very good acceleration. His first step is very good, and his ability to change speeds helps him to beat opponents off the rush. He also has good agility and edgework, allowing Dvorak to slip around defenders. He could stand to bulk up though, to improve his balance and be stronger on the puck.
Dvorak has shown some offensive flair at times. He has a very good wrist shot and an excellent release, though he doesn’t really use it enough. Dvorak tends to be look to be more of a playmaker off the wing, using good patience, vision and passing skill to set up teammates. Dvorak plays a fearless game as he is not afraid to handle the puck in traffic, to battle on the boards, or to get to the front of the net. If he is able to get stronger, and add some muscle to his frame going forward.
Dvorak already plays a strong two-way game, as seen by coach Dale Hunter’s willingness to use him on the penalty kill despite being one of the younger forwards on the Knights. He anticipates extremely well and cuts down passing lanes. He also uses his good quickness to pressure the points and block shots and cause more turnovers, and can then be a threat to score short handed. He also brings the solid defensive game and awareness at even strength, where he back checks effectively and supports his defence down low.
Christian Dvorak’s game is reminiscent of Jussi Jokinen of the Pittsburgh Penguins. He could become a top six forward if he continues to show the progression that he showed flashes of before his injury. However even if he doesn’t really improve his offensive game, he may still be able to carve out a role in the NHL with his solid defensive game.
Here are some highlights of Christian Dvorak in action.
Come back tomorrow to see my latest article previewing the 2014 NHL Draft.
For the latest sports injury news, check out our friends at Sports Injury Alert.
Thank you for reading. Please take a moment to follow me on Twitter – @lastwordBkerr. Support LWOS by following us on Twitter – @LastWordOnSport – and “liking” our Facebook page.
Interested in writing for LWOS? We are looking for enthusiastic, talented writers to join our Hockey writing team. Visit our ”Write for Us“ page for very easy details in how you can get started today!