Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day our LWOS Prospects Writers will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2023 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow Ben Kerr, Kyle Pereira and Frederik Frandson 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”! Today we bring you our Dalibor Dvorsky Scouting Report.
Last year, three Slovakian prospects (including first and second overall) were taken in the NHL Draft. Adding to this golden age for Slovakian hockey is 2023 prospect Dalibor Dvorsky. Seeking a more competitive environment to develop his obvious talent, Dvorsky went to Sweden in 2018 and has been part of the AIK system, playing in Stockholm, since 2020. This past season he spent time playing against men in the Allsvenskan, Sweden’s second-highest league. Dvorsky put up six goals and eight assists for 14 points in 36 games. It was the most points scored by any Under-18 player in the league. He also spent time in the J20 league. Playing for AIK’s affiliate at the under-20 level, he was dominant with 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points in just 10 games.
Dvorsky also represented his country. He put up a goal and two assists for three points in five games at the World Juniors. He also played at the Under-18 World Championships, helping Slovakia to a fourth-place finish. Dvorsky had eight goals and five assists for 13 points in seven tournament games. He had the goal or assist on 12 straight Slovakian goals. Dvorsky was named to the tournament all-star team.
Dalibor Dvorsky Scouting Report
Centre/Right Wing — shoots Left
Born June 15th, 2005 — Zvolen, Slovakia
Height 6’1″ — Weight 201 lbs [185 cm / 91 kg]
The biggest knock on Dvorsky is his skating. He is not a bad skater but is very average. He can keep up with the play well enough but lacks the speed and acceleration to be a true game-breaker off the rush. Dvorsky’s agility and edgework are also good enough to get by, but his lateral movement isn’t going to challenge many of the best NHL defenders in one-on-one situations. Instead, he will need to use his smarts and hockey sense to put himself in good positions to succeed. Dvorsky is strong for his age though. He has a low centre of gravity and good balance. Dvorsky wins battles along the boards. He is also tough to knock off the puck. It is difficult to move him once he establishes his position in front of the net as well.
Dvorsky has good size and uses it to play a power game in the middle of the ice. He uses his body and his reach to protect the puck and extend offensive zone possession. Dvorsky is good at working the cycle game and can control plays down below the hashmarks. When a teammate is open, he can make a tape-to-tape pass through a tight opening. Dvorsky has good vision and excellent anticipation. He anticipates where teammates and opponents are going and makes smart plays both with and without the puck. He finds a way to get open and make plays without the puck. Dvorsky isn’t the type to carry the puck through the neutral zone and lead the rush though. Instead he defers to teammates and looks for open ice.
Dvorsky excels as a goal scorer. He has a very good wrist shot and an excellent release. He also has a good snap shot and one-timer. Dvorsky’s release is deceptive and can create issues for goalies. He is strong on his skates and Dvorsky has the power to get to the front of the net both with and without the puck. As the focal point of his junior teams, he has really worked at getting to those key scoring areas. However, when playing against men in the Allsvenskan, there are times when Dvorsky plays a bit too much of a perimeter game. As he matures and adds muscle to his frame, it is hoped that he will continue to get to those dirty areas while playing against men. He is a willing forechecker as well.
Dvorsky’s defensive game is very advanced for a 17-year-old. He is a willing and committed backchecker. Dvorsky brings effective backpressure, supporting the defence against the rush. He is often the third forward in the offensive zone, staying high enough that he can get back defensively. Dvorsky also does a good job of supporting the defence down low. His size and balance help him to defend against the cycle game and keep things to the outside. He uses an active stick and good positioning to cut down passing lanes and create turnovers. Once a turnover is created, Dvorsky is quick to transition the puck up the ice and get the puck to a teammate to start the rush.
Projection and Comparison
Dvorsky might become a top-line centre in the NHL if his offensive game continues to develop. Some work with a good skating coach as well as some added muscle on his frame will go a long way to making that happen. Even if he doesn’t make it to be a number-one centre, he should still have a long and productive NHL career. Given his size, his smarts, and his defensive game, the floor for Dvorsky is relatively high. It is easy to see him becoming a second-line centre with the two-way game to kill penalties and face the opponent’s top line. His high compete level will please coaches. Even if his offence never translates to that level, he could be a solid third liner. Dvorsky’s game resembles Phillip Danault. This is a style comparison only though and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Dalibor Dvorsky that are available on youtube and Twitter.
Dalibor Dvorsky (of course) ties the game up with the long wrister.
Make it 13 points in 7 games. pic.twitter.com/ylDuMxd3Wf
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) April 30, 2023
Dalibor Dvorsky keeps the hot streak going with this knockdown goal to open the scoring.
He's scored 5 of the last 6 goals for Slovakia and is up to 6 goals and 9 points in ~4 U18 games. pic.twitter.com/drfuPFvqja
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) April 27, 2023
Make it 2 goals for Dalibor Dvorsky (2023) this morning.
Gives him 3 goals and 5 points in his last 3 Allsvenskan games pic.twitter.com/gV06YpZYai
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) October 17, 2022
I’m still not sure how to comprehend Dalibor Dvorsky recording 11 points in three Hlinka tournament games…
As an underager.
He already owned the all-time U17 record after TWO games.
Just insane stuff from the Slovak. #2023NHLDraft
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) August 4, 2021
Check back later for our next 2023 NHL Draft Article.
Main Photo: George Walker IV-USA TODAY Sports