2015 NHL Draft Profile #74: Robin Kovacs

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A late 96 birthdate, Robin Kovacs has been a staple for Swedish Teams at the international level for several years.  He was part of the Swedish team that won the gold medal at the 2013 U17 World Hockey Challenge. He was also part of the Swedish entry at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka tournament, and at several other international tournaments over the last few years.  He has played his club hockey for AIK in the Allvenskan this past season, and had a great year playing top six minutes in the second best Swedish men’s league. Kovacs had 17 goals and 28 points in 52 games this year, both of which led all junior age players in the league. He also had a strong playoff, adding two goals and seven points in 10 games. It was no surprise when Kovacs was awarded the Allvenskan’s junior player of the year award given that performance. In addition to the NHL draft scouts who have surely been keeping tabs on this youngster, Kovacs has also attracted the attention of KHL scouts, as he was a fifth round pick, 133rd overall to CSKA Moscow in the 2015 KHL draft.   He is currently being linked to a potential move to Frolunda to play SHL hockey next season.

Robin Kovacs

Right Wing — shoots Left
Born Nov 16 1996 — Stockholm, Sweden
Height 6.00 — Weight 172 [183 cm/78 kg]

Robin Kovacs is an excellent skater.  He has very good top end speed and excellent acceleration.  He can beat defenders wide and then cut hard to the net.  Kovacs also likes to play the dump and chase game, chipping pucks by defenders at the blue line and then getting in quickly on the puck in the corner.  With his speed, he is able to throw absolutely huge hits when doing this.  Kovacs also has very good agility and edgework.  One on one he can utilize a variety of moves to get around a defender, and his ability to change speeds and accelerate into an opening once one is created is a huge strength.  Kovacs could stand to add some lower body muscle to be stronger on the puck and more balanced though.

Robin Kovacs is an excellent stickhandler.  He is able to control the puck and make slick plays while moving at top speed, or utilizing his great skating ability.  This means he can be extremely dangerous off the rush.  Add in a hard and accurate wrist shot, and its easy to see where he led the Allvenskan in goals by a junior aged player.  He could use a little work on getting his wrist shot off faster, especially when playing in traffic though.  Kovacs can be a good playmaker with the ability to pass the puck through small openings in the defence. He never takes a shift off in the offensive zone, and he’s shown his willingness to battle for pucks along the boards, or to be involved in battles in front of the net. Kovacs could stand to add muscle to win more of these battles though.  He is the type of agitator who always finds himself in the middle of a post whistle scrum.

Robin Kovacs shows a commitment to play defensive hockey, but needs some serious work on the fundamentals of keeping an active stick; how to be positioned to cut off passing and shooting lanes, and reading the play in his own end of the ice.  The effort level is there but Kovacs now needs to get some quality coaching.

Kovacs could be a top six winger in the NHL, but will need time to develop.  His style is similar to Nazem Kadri, though this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on talent level.

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