We're getting down to the stems and seeds of the first-round level talent (read: probably second-round talent). Filip Hronek is a smaller, right-shot defenseman who has some great instincts and ability to make the first pass and play on the Power Play. However, he's not strong enough to play at the higher levels of professional hockey at this point, and may never be. At just six feet (and that's being generous, depending on what sites you read) and 165 pounds, he's never going to be mistaken for a bruiser.
He does show a good understanding of the game, which will certainly help his development. But, when asked to bang bodies with the bigger forwards of the North American professional ranks, you need to be stronger. He just isn't, yet.
Current Team: HK Hradec Kralove (Czech Extraliga)
Date of Birth: November 2, 1997
Place of Birth: Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
Weight: 165 lbs
Only 6-foot and 165 pounds, Filip Hronek has had quite an active season, suiting up for the Hradec Kralove men’s and junior teams, Czech national U20 squad, and HC Litomerice of the Czech second league. With four assists and a +5 rating in 34 Czech Extraliga contests, Filip has shown the ability to apply a strong understanding for the game to what is becoming an everyday job. His four points in 12 second league games are enhanced by 14 points in 11 U20 league games, further affirming that his strengths ultimately lie in the offensive contributions he can make from the blueline.
Apt with his first pass, his season’s progress earned him a spot on the Czech Republic’s 2016 WJC squad, for whom he admirably collected two assists and a +3 rating in five outings. This made him one of the most notable performers from that team.
At this juncture, Hronek is clearly the most interesting draft-eligible hailing from the Czech Republic and Slovakia.--Chapin Landvogt, Hockey's Future
Czech Republic defender who displayed terrific puck moving skills and instincts. runs the PP and reads and dishes well. Not big but plays well in all phases unnoticed. Plays aggressive and doesn't really panic under pressure. Positionally solid in all three zones. Has good vision and sees his outlet options and hits them. Likes to carry with good feet and isn't afraid of the rough going. Not six foopt but an interesting prospect who will needs more weight room to get stronger in body and stride.
--Bill Placzek, Draft Site
A Good Fit in Columbus?
Not at this point in my eyes. The Jackets have plenty of defensive prospects with offense-only games, and he's on the small side. He's going to need to get stronger as well as develop his defensive game in terms of strength and checking to make an NHL impact over the guys already in the system.