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Filip Hronek spent the majority of his season playing against men with HC Hradec Kralove in the Czech Extraliga, where he picked up four assists in 40 games. While he didn’t put up big numbers in the men’s league, he was a dominant offensive force at the junior level with 16 points in 13 games for the U20 team, and nine points in 10 U20 playoff games. He also spent some time with the U20 team, as well as being loaned out to a second division team. He really impressed at the World Junior Hockey Championships where he picked up two goals and played in a top offensive role. A late 1997 birthday, Hronek was too old for this year’s IIHF Under 18 World Championship tournament, but he did play in the 2015 edition, picking up three assists in five games.
Filip Hronek Scouting Report: 2016 NHL Draft #70
Defense — shoots Right
Born Nov 2 1997 — Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
Height 6’00” — Weight 163 lbs [183 cm / 74 kg]
Filip Hronek projects as a puck moving defenceman as he has a number of good offensive skills. He sees the ice extremely well and has very good instincts and passing skills. He can utilize these with a good first pass out of the zone to start the transition game, or to quarterback things on the powerplay. Hronek has poise with with the puck on his stick, and the patience to wait for a shooting or passing lane to open up. He also has the stick handling ability to get away from forecheckers, and to maneuver with the puck through the neutral zone. When it does, he can thread a pass through a small opening. Hronek has a decent slap shot, which he gets through traffic and on net. It could stand to be a little bit more powerful, but that may come with maturity. Hronek’s hockey IQ and offensive instincts are extremely good.
Hronek is a solid skater. He has good speed in both directions, and excellent acceleration. Hronek has the agility and footwork to be an extremely mobile defender. He can cover large areas of the ice, and is tough to beat one-on-one due to his good feet. Offensively, Hronek’s agility can combine with his stickhandling to make him dangerous moving the puck up the ice. He also has good side to side agility, allowing him to walk the line, and open up the passing and shooting lanes. Balance and strength on the puck can be an issue, as Hronek will need to bulk up so he does not get pushed off the puck, and to help him win battles along the boards and clear the front of the net.
Filip Hronek has some solid defensive skills, but his lack of size and strength can be a detriment to his game. He has a quick stick which he can use to poke the puck off of an attackers stick. He has good positioning, reads the play well and cuts down passing lanes. However Hronek’s lack of muscle makes it difficult for him to clear the front of the net, or contain bigger forwards in the cycle game.
Hronek has many of the physical abilities to develop into a strong defenceman. It will take some time though. He has issues with his strength and power on the bigger ice, and those will only get worse when he moves to a North American game. The team drafting him will have to hope that he is able to keep his strong skating and offensive skills after bulking up in order to improve his defensive game. Hronek could bring a top four type of reward if he does develop though. His game is similar stylistically to Sami Vatanen of the Anaheim Ducks, though this is a stylistic comparison and not one based on skill.
The following is a compilation of Filip Hronek highlights, assembled from youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the #70 prospect on our NHL Draft Board.