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 2021 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 bring you our Stanislav Svozil Scouting Report.
Czech defender Stanislav Svozil has gotten more and more attention as time has passed these last couple of seasons. His game has seen marked improvements and he has risen up draft rankings as a result. Svozil spent the majority of the season with HC Kometo Brno in the Czech Extraliga. In limited ice time, he put up one goal and two assists for three points in thirty games. He added a goal and an assist for two points in a three-game stint on loan in the Czech second division. Spozil also played for the Czech Team at the World Juniors and the Under-18 World Championships.
This followed up on his 2019-20 rookie campaign which saw him win the Czech Extraliga’s Rookie of the Year award. In 41 games with Brno, he put up two goals and three assists for five points. He had six points in 10 games in the U-20 league. Spozil played for the Czech team at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. He was an alternate captain and put up four assists in six games. Spozil helped lead the Czechs to the Bronze Medal.
Stanislav Svozil Scouting Report
Left Defence — shoots Left
Born January 17th, 2003 — Prerov, Czech Repulic
Height 6’1″ — Weight 179 lbs [185 cm/81 kg]
Svozil’s skating is a bit hit and miss. He needs to work on his stride. It is short and choppy, limiting his acceleration and top-end speed. This is something that can be fixed with hard work and a good skating coach. Generally, he shows good tools though. He has very good agility and lateral movement, helping him at both ends of the ice. His edgework is also good and it allows him to make tight turns and quick changes in direction. Svozil is a bit skinny but he has good core strength and balance for his age. He fights hard, battling with bigger, fully grown men in the Extraliga, sometimes even being able to fight through the check. As he matures, this area of his game will no doubt improve.
Svozil has the tools to play a strong offensive game but has not really been productive in the Extraliga. Part of that is lack of opportunity for the teenager but one would also like to see a few more points. Svozil is a smart player who reads the play well and picks the right pass. He can do this in transition, moving the puck to create offensive opportunities. This is true whether it is a quick pass up the boards or long breakaway play. He can also skate the puck up the ice with strong stickhandling. He protects the puck well and generates successful zone entries.
Svozil needs to work on his shooting. His slap shot and wrist shot lack power. He can also work on having a quicker release and not loading up so much. Svozil also struggles to adjust his stance and hips if passes are not quite perfect for a one-timer, leading to a lack of accuracy on the shot. He is much more of a power play quarterback than a trigger man.
Svozil has excellent defensive ability for his age. His strong lateral movements allow him to maintain good gap control as well as force opponents to the outside. He keeps himself between his man and the front of the net and uses his reach to cut down passing lanes. Svozil is willing to engage in battles on the boards and in front of the net but should be better at this as he gets stronger. He also works well to stay with his man and break things up away from the play. When he gets a loose puck, Svozil is able to skate the puck out of danger or start the transition game with his excellent passing.
Projection and Comparison
Svozil has all the tools needed to become a top four defenceman in the NHL. While needs to work on his shot a bit, his technical skills are good. He also needs more time in offensive situations. He hasn’t been getting much power play time in the Extraliga to date, but may get more offensive opportunities this season. Svozil was drafted by the Regina Pats in last year’s CHL Import Draft, however would have to be drafted again in this year’s version if he were to make a move to the league. It could help him to get the opportunities to create offence. It could be two or more years before he’s ready to play in the NHL. His game is reminiscent of Ivan Provorov but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Stanislav Svozil that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for our next NHL Draft article.
Stanislav Svozil Scouting Report Main Photo:
EDMONTON, AB – DECEMBER 27: Artemi Knyazev #3 of Russia skates against Stanislav Svozil #5 of the Czech Republic during the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship at Rogers Place on December 27, 2020 in Edmonton, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)