2016 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Libor Hajek
The Czech defenseman comes with neutral zone opportunities and room to develop
Current team: HC Kometa Brno
Date of birth: February 4, 1998
Place of birth: Smrcek, Czech Republic
Weight: 196 lbs
Libor Hajek comes into the 2016 NHL Draft as a second round defenseman prospect whose strength is his play though the neutral zone and taking the puck out of his own zone. This skill, increasingly rare and exceedingly valuable in a more wide open NHL, makes Hajek an intriguing prospect. He scored 26 points in a nice 69 games for the Saskatoon Blades, a bright spot on a dreadful team. Hajek is a defensive defenseman with the ability and willingness to battle in front of his net to clear out danger. Areas for improvement include his shot, his stickhandling, and his ability to lead a rush going forward from the neutral zone into the offensive zone.
HOW DOES HAJEK FIT IN COLUMBUS?
Columbus is in perpetual need of defenseman, and they have been since pretty much the inception of the franchise. In this respect, Hajek could be a valuable pick early in the second round. His ceiling is probably a second pairing player. Given that he would likely require several years of seasoning before becoming a regular in Columbus, he could potentially take over for Jack Johnson one day, playing with more a neutral zone presence than Johnson typically does. Hajek could be a fit early in the second round.
HAJEK IN ACTION