Welcome back to Top Shelf 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 2015 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”! The following is a complete listing of all our 2016 Draft Articles.
A first round pick, 24th overall, in the 2014 CHL Import Draft, Simon Stransky has now spent two seasons with the WHL‘s Prince Albert Raiders. The Czech Republic native has adjusted well to the North American game and was a point-per-game player this past season with 19 goals and 43 assists for 62 points in 62 games. He also put up four points in five games during the Raiders first round playoff loss. Stransky also has plenty of international experience, representing the Czech Republic at the the 2014 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge (five points in five games), the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament (three points in five games, silver medal) the 2015 IIHF Under 18 World Championships (one point in five games), and the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championships (one point in five games). He comes from hockey bloodlines, as his grandfather Vladimir; father Darek; uncles Vladan and Vit all pleyed professional hockey in the Czech Republic. His brother Matej Stransky was a sixth round pick of the Dallas Stars in the 2011 NHL Draft. He also played for Team Orr at the CHL Top Prospects Game.
Simon Stransky Scouting Report: 2016 NHL Draft #74
Left Wing — shoots Right
Born Dec 21 1997 — Ostrava, Czech Rep.
Height 6’00” — Weight 171 lbs [183 cm / 78 kg]
The strength of Simon Stransky’s game is his playmaking ability. He is a very good stick handler, protecting the puck from opponents and able to make nifty moves to avoid defenders. He can speed up the play, or slow it down depending on the circumstances, giving his linemates the opportunity to get open before hitting them with a tape-to-tape pass for a scoring chance. Stransky has very good vision and hockey sense, and seems to see the play develop. He also has a decent wrist shot and a good release, often using his shot from the half boards. His slap shot also shows some power, and very good accuracy. Stransky is a bit of a perimeter player though, he needs to get stronger and go to the dirty areas of the ice more often going forward. He can also improve his ability to battle on the boards, and be stronger on the puck.
Stransky’s skating shows some very good areas, and some areas that need a little bit of work. He has decent speed, but it isn’t anything to write home about. His first step quickness and acceleration are good though. He has the ability to change gears and fool defenders off the rush that way. Stransky also has very good lateral movement and agility. This combined with his good stickhandling ability allows him to beat defenders one-on-one. He could stand to develop his core body strength, which would improve his balance and help him in the areas that need improving.
Stranksy’s defensive game is also a work in progress. Again this is an area where his lack of strength can see him pushed off pucks by bigger and stronger opponents. He also needs to learn to stay active in the play, and not get caught watching the puck withouth moving his feet. Being responsible and not leaving the zone early is also an issue. With good coaching and strong work ethic these issues can be overcome.
Stransky is a bit of a project, in that it will take him time to work on gaining strength and improving his skating and defensive game. However there are a lot of high end skills here, and a lot to like in this prospect. With time he could develop into a top six winger at the NHL level. In terms of a stylistic comparison, Stranksy plays the game similarly to Alex Tanguay. However this is a style comparison only and not one based on talent.
The following is a compilation of Simon Stransky’s highlights, assembled from youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the #75 prospect on our NHL Draft Board.