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 2020 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 Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Jaromir Pytlik.
Drafted in the second round, 118th Overall in the 2018 CHL Import Draft, Jaromir Pytlik spent half of the 2018-19 season in the Czech Republic before joining the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Once he came over, he made an instant impact. Pytlik scored 11 goals and eight assists for 19 points in 26 games that year. He also added four goals and four assists for eight points in 11 playoff games. Pytlik has been even better this year. He put up 22 goals and 28 assists for 50 points in 56 games.
Pytlik represents the Czech Republic on the international stage. At the 2020 World Juniors, he scored one assist in five games. He had six points in 14 games for the Czech Under-20 team this year. He also played in the 2018 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, captaining the team and picking up two points in four games. Overall he had four goals and 12 points in 15 games for the Czech Under-18 team that season. Pytlik played at the 2018 Under-18 World Championships, scoring two points in six games as an underage player. Pytlik also won a bronze medal at the 2017 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. He scored two goals in the six-game tournament.
Jaromir Pytlik Scouting Report
Centre/Right Wing — shoots Right
Born September 25th, 2001 — Dacice, Czech Republic
Height 6’2″ — Weight 200 lbs [188 cm/91 kg]
Pytlik’s skating is a bit of a work in progress. His first step and acceleration are average. His top-end speed is a little bit better but would be classified as above average. He could work on lengthening his stride in order to generate a bit more speed. Pytlik also needs work on his agility and edgework. His turns are wide and take away speed. He is much better moving in a straight line than needing to make quick cuts or changes in direction. Pytlik is strong for his age though. He has good core strength which helps him to be strong on the puck. He battles for loose pucks in the corners. Pytlik is also good at establishing his position in front of the net.
Pytlik is strong on his skates and protects the puck well with his good stickhandling ability. He fights off checks and can make plays in traffic. This also helps him to control the puck down low in the cycle game. Pytlik maintains possession and extends plays, giving his linemates time to get open. With good vision and passing skills, he can make plays in tight spaces. He is also strong on the forecheck. He pressures defenders to make plays quickly and can capitalize if they make a mistake. His size and strength are assets in board battles and Pytlik wins loose pucks. While his skating can be limiting, he is able to make up for it with a solid work-ethic and is always moving his feet.
Pytlik also has a very good wrist shot and the quick release to beat goaltenders. His shot is accurate and powerful. He also has a very good one-timer. With his soft hands, Pytlik can also score in tight to the net, whether that is beating a goalie with a quick move, pouncing on a rebound, one-timing a pass to the back of the net, or getting a deflection. His size and strength allow him to get to the dirty areas of the ice both with and without the puck. Pytlik is not afraid to play in those tough areas. While he has good size for a teenager, he will need to continue getting stronger before being ready for the pro game.
Pytlik is strong in the face-off circle and willing to work in his own end of the ice. He brings his high work-ethic in his own zone. Supporting the defence down low, Pytlik is good at containing the cycle game. His ability to win board battles also translates well. Pytlik is strong positionally and uses his long stick to cut down passing and shooting lanes. He reads the play well and his anticipation can create turnovers. Pytlik is effective on the penalty kill.
Projection and Comparison
Pytlik is versatile, with the ability to play both centre and wing. However, his skating is likely to set him up as a winger at the next level. Even then, it is an area that he will need to work. Pytlik could develop into a strong middle-six player, capable of providing some offence and killing penalties. His game is reminiscent of Pavel Zacha, though this is a stylistic comparison and not one based on skill or ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Jaromir Pytlik that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Jaromir Pytlik Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images
WINDSOR, ONTARIO – FEBRUARY 27: Forward Jaromir Pytlik #26 of the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds celebrates a goal against the Windsor Spitfires at the WFCU Centre on February 27, 2020, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)