2014 NHL Draft Prospect Profile #22 - David Pastrnak

Teammate of top 5 prospect William Nylander in the Allsvenskan, David Pastrnak is a big bodied winger from the Czech Republic with excellent hands and exceptional speed who may just end up on the Blue Jackets' radar in the first round.

Name: David Pastrnak
Position: RW
Team: Södertälje
Date of Birth: May 25, 1996
Place of Birth: Havirov, Czech
Height/Weight 6' 0" / 168 lbs.
Shoots: R

It's never a bad sign to see an NHL prospect who has been playing in a men's league, in this case the Allsvenskan. Pastrnak has been blooming at the right time, raising his draft status with excellent performances as part of Sodertalje and the Czech junior team in international competition.

His speed and offensive talent remind me a lot of Jake Voracek, but Pastrnak needs to add more muscle if he wants to play a power forward role in the NHL. The biggest concern I see isn't his relatively weak defensive game - that can be taught - it's the season ending concussion he suffered earlier this year. He seems to have recovered from it, but how will that impact his game? Will he shy away from physical situations? Will he be a bit more hesitant after taking a hit? It bears watching.

Scouting Reports:

Using quick agile cuts and dazzling puck skills, Pastrnak attacks quickly often making defenders look foolish along the way. He hounds pucks in an unrelenting way and doesn't steer away from traffic but his underdeveloped frame can hold him back occasionally in puck battles. - MyNHLDraft.com

He can dish the puck and he can finish as well. He has been doing very well at both in the Tier 2 Swedish pro league, the Allsvenskan (24 points in 36 games thus far, but an injury has prematurely ended his season). His defense needs a lot of work and he is of a slight build. A team needing offense may take him quite high thinking they will get an Ales Hemsky like player. Other teams, looking at his build and defense may back off until the end of the first round if he is still there. - The Hockey Writers

Why he'd be a good fit in Columbus

I suspect Jarmo and his scouts have gotten a fairly good look at Pastrnak, since he spent most of this season playing along fellow draft prospect William Nylander. The Blue Jackets have a lot of depth at forward, but if you look at the system, it's very center heavy, and a lot of the wingers are relatively smaller guys. Having a big bodied guy with the speed to keep up with a Ryan Johansen or (perhaps) Alexander Wennberg would be a strong addition to the pool, especially if he adds a few pounds and can be coached up on the defensive side of his game.

Subscribe to The Cannon

Don’t miss out on the latest articles. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only articles.