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 2022 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 Tomas Hamara Scouting Report.
Czechia defenceman Tomas Hamara really impressed at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships. He led the tournament in assists by a defenceman, picking up eight in six games. He was named to the tournament All-Star Team. Hamara was also named a top-three player on the Czechia team. Hamara was also the team captain for Czechia at the European Youth Olympic Festival. He picked up three assists in the four-game tournament. He also made the Czech team for the World Juniors but did not see any game time before the tournament was cancelled/postponed due to an outbreak of COVID-19.
Hamara plays his club hockey in Finland in the Tappara system. He played 24 games in the SM Liiga, Finland’s top men’s league, picking up two assists. He also played in two playoff games. Tappara took home the Liiga title. Hamara also played two games in the Mestis, the secondary league, for KeuPa, picking up two assists. He played in the Finnish Under-20 league as well. In 32 games, Hamara scored six goals and 19 assists for 25 points. He also added one assist in two playoff games.
Tomas Hamara Scouting Report
Left Defence — shoots Left
Born March 9th, 2004 — Praha, Czech Republic
Height 6’0″ — Weight 185 lbs [183 cm/84 kg]
Hamara is a very good skater, which is the basis for his strong two-way game. He has a good stride, which gives him good speed and acceleration in both directions. This allows Hamara to join the rush or to pinch in at the blue line and still get back defensively. His edgework and agility are excellent. Hamara can walk the line in the offensive zone, opening up passing and shooting lanes. He also uses his strong lateral movement to keep in front of his man and maintain good gap control. Hamara has crisp pivots. He can transition from offence to defence, and vice-versa, quickly and effectively. Hamara has decent balance and is strong on the puck for his age. He does well against his peers on the boards and in front of the net but struggled in Liiga. As he matures and adds muscle to his frame, this should improve.
Hamara is a strong puck mover. He marries his skating skills with good puckhandling ability. This allows Hamara to evade forecheckers and get the puck out of his end. He also can weave through traffic in the neutral zone, creating efficient zone entries. Hamara is poised with the puck at the blue line. He is able to control the play and wait for teammates to get open. When they do, he can move well laterally, opening up a passing lane. Hamara has good vision and hockey IQ. He reads the play extremely well and will anticipate his teammates getting open for a scoring chance. His quick dangles also allow him to quarterback the play.
Hamara can stand to add some power to his shot. He does a good job of walking the line to make sure his shot gets through shooting lanes and on the net. His slap shot and one-timer are decent but nothing to write home about. This may improve as he gets stronger. Hamara prefers to sneak in from the blue line and let go of his wrist shot from the top of the circles. Again, his shot has decent power but is nothing special. Hamara maximizes his shots by keeping them low and on the net. This allows his teammates to get in front of the net and screen goalies. They can also get deflections and rebounds.
Hamara is decent defensively, but nothing really stands out as an elite skill either. His skating allows him to retrieve dump-ins and other loose pucks. His skating and stickhandling skills allow him to skate the puck up the ice in transition. He also makes a good first pass to activate the offence. Hamara is willing to battle along the boards as well as in front of the net but needs to get stronger. His strong skating allows him to maintain good gap control. Hamara forces attackers to the outside and away from the most dangerous shooting areas. Hamara is not a big hitter, but he’s willing to battle along the boards and in front of the net. As he gets stronger, this aspect of his game should improve. He is also able to cut down passing and shooting lanes with his active stick.
Projection and Comparison
Hamara has the potential to develop into a solid two-way defender, capable of playing top-four minutes and being used in all situations. He has a good all-around game but lacks one key elite trait at this point. He will need to continue to improve his game in all areas in order to make the next level. While Hamara will likely never be a true number one defender, he could be a key part of a strong blue line if he reaches his potential. He is a bit of a project, likely needing some more time in Europe and the AHL before being ready for the pro game. Look for him at this summer’s rescheduled World Juniors. Hamara’s game is reminiscent of Esa Lindell. 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 Tomas Hamara that are available on youtube and Twitter.
Tomáš Hamara will likely be the second Czech defenseman off the board in the #2022NHLDraft.
Two-way defenseman with puck moving ability, good skating stride and high hockey IQ, quarterbacks the power-play very well. Member of U18 Worlds All-Star team (8 pts in 6 GP). pic.twitter.com/ko5ecfVnQY
— Czech Prospects (@CZprospects) July 2, 2022
Adam Bareš redirects the shot from Tomáš Hamara on the power play. Eduard Šalé gets his fourth assist at the tournament. 1-1. pic.twitter.com/BAZq4YsujK
— Czech Prospects (@CZprospects) April 26, 2022
— Czech Prospects (@CZprospects) April 24, 2022
— Czech Prospects (@CZprospects) April 28, 2022
Check back later for our next NHL Draft article.
Tomas Hamara Scouting Report Main Photo:
🚨 NEW | We have a report on Czech defenseman Tomas Hamara from last weekend’s U16 action. Hamara is playing his second season in Finland after joining Tappara juniors from Sparta Prague in 2018.https://t.co/jAAdmo2LG1 pic.twitter.com/dyJ7lLLMFk
— Finnish Jr Hockey (@FINjrhockey) March 9, 2020