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 Jan Mysak.
Drafted 20th overall by the Hamilton Bulldogs in the 2019 CHL Import Draft, Jan Mysak opted to remain in the Czech Republic to start the season. He played in 26 games with HC Litvinov in the top Czech men’s league. Mysak put up five goals and four assists for nine points in the Extraliga. It is difficult for young players to get opportunities and produce in a men’s league. Those nine points were the most by any under-20-year-old in the Czech league this season. The 17-year-old forward also made the Czech team for the World Juniors. He scored one goal and one assist in five games at the tournament.
Following the World Juniors, Mysak made his way to North America, joining the OHL’s Bulldogs. After settling in with his new club, he put up 15 goals and 10 assists for 25 points in 22 games before the league was shut down due to Covid-19. Last season, Mysak scored three points in five games at the 2019 IIHF Under-18 World Championships. He also added two points at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. Mysak scored two goals in four games at this summer’s Hlinka-Gretzky Cup.
Jan Mysak Scouting Report
Left Wing/Centre — shoots Left
Born June 24th, 2002 — Litvinov, Czech Republic
Height 5’10” — Weight 175 lbs [178 cm/79 kg]
Mysak’s overall stride and skating style is unorthodox. In fact, his stride and first few steps are a bit herky-jerky. This can be a problem with his first few steps. However, once he gets moving he shows decent acceleration and above-average top-end speed. There is certainly room for improvement as Mysak needs to work on lengthening and smoothing out his stride to improve his speed and power. That said, it is not a weakness either. Mysak has shown good balance though. He is tough to knock off the puck and can battle through checks to get to the dirty areas of the ice. His agility and lateral movements are not bad, but they don’t stand out either. It is enough to get by right now, but like his top-end speed, it could be improved with a high-end skating coach.
Mysak has an excellent wrist shot and a very quick release. It is deadly accurate and he generates a ton of power. He is also strong with his snapshot and one-timer. Mysak is a pure sniper. He gets himself into good positions without the puck, finding open space in the defence and setting himself up to let go of that deadly shot. Mysak needs to shoot more though. With all of his shots showing such quality, and with the quickness that he can get them off, there is real room for him to score even more goals in the coming seasons.
Mysak can play the role of a playmaker as well. He has excellent vision and his quick hands can change positions for the puck and create passing lanes. Mysak has the skill to get the puck through those tight lanes and on a teammate’s stick. He also has the hands and stickhandling skills to slow down the play or speed it, helping his linemates to get open and making plays. He controls the puck down low, extending possession, and waiting for a scoring chance to appear. Mysak has played the point on the Hamilton power play, showing the skill and vision to be a quarterback, as well as taking advantage of a strong slap shot.
Mysak is well advanced defensively for his age. He uses an active stick, his ability to read the play, and his anticipation to break things up in the offensive zone. Whether this is intercepting passes or knocking the puck away from his man, he is a constant pest in all three zones. Mysak is strong positionally, keeping himself in position to limit scoring chances, helping effectively with backpressure and supporting the defence down low. He is not a physical player, instead defending using his smarts and ability to create turnovers. He is also effective as a penalty killer and quickly took to that role in Hamilton. Mysak has enough offensive skill that he can be a threat short-handed as well.
Projection and Comparison
Mysak has many of the tools necessary to be an effective top-six forward at the NHL level. With some areas of his skating needing improvement, he projects as more of a winger going forward. However, if he is able to improve his first few steps and his agility, he could be even more valuable as a 200-foot centre. He could grow to be effective at both ends of the ice. Mysak needs time though, and a couple more seasons in the OHL won’t hurt him going forward. His game compares well with Tomas Tatar but 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 Jan Mysak that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Main PHoto: Jan Mysak of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Photo by Hockey Herald