NHL 2015 Draft Prospect Profile #24 - Filip Chlapik
This young Czech has plenty of talent, but is focused on getting better. He brings size, maturity and vision to the table and promises to be a later round sleeper.
Current Team: Charlottetown Islanders, QMJHL
Date of Birth: June 3, 1997
Place of Birth: Prague, Czech Republic
Weight: 196 lbs
In his rookie season in North America, all Filip Chlapik managed to do was break the Charlottetown Islanders' rookie scoring record, with 33-42-75 in 64 games. He helped lead PEI's entry in the "Q" to a 9th place finish, up from 15th a year earlier, and guided them to a first round playoff series win.
The Czech native admits that it took a while to get used to the North American game, particularly the battles in the corner, he quickly adapted, and prides himself on playing a 200 foot game. Still, he insists that there is plenty of room for improvement in his skating and shooting, and is intent on working hard this summer to be ready for training camp at whichever NHL club brings him on board.
While he shares comparable skill levels to other first rounders, his size distinguishes him among centers, particularly given that he won't turn 18 for a couple of more weeks. Gaining size is one thing, and all of the players can do that over time, but Chlapik has been playing at a high level with that size, which is a real plus.
He is currently ranked #18 among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting Rankings, a slight fall from the #17 slot he held mid-season. He does not appear in the top 30 in the ISS Rankings. I think ISS may be missing the boat on this one.
Here's what NHL Central Scouting has to say about Chlapik:
"Filip is a very good skater with good vision and puck skills. He always seems to be in the right position on the ice both with and without the puck. He can jump on loose pucks and transition quickly. A good combination of size, skating and hockey sense." -- Dan Marr, NHL Central Scouting
Meanwhile, Charlottetown GM Grant Sonier offered the following assessment:
"I watched him quite a bit internationally and we put a great deal of stock as other teams do in trying to secure good picks . . .What I liked about Filip in particular was that he's got a high skill level but also a high hockey IQ, and that's a good combination to have."
Finally, Islanders' coach Gordie Dwyer provides a bit of insight into Chlapik's personality:
"He's endeared himself to his teammates and the fans; he's got a real way about him and he certainly doesn't go unnoticed . . . His personality really does shine through."
Growing up, Chlapik idolized Tomas Vokoun, and had aspirations of being a goalie. His father was having none of it, however, and told him he was going to be a forward. Good call, Dad.
A Good Fit in Columbus?
Absolutely. When I watch, listen to and read about Chlapik, my brain screams "Jake Voracek." The similarities are evident, but Chlapik seems to have far more maturity and a greater work ethic than Jake did at the same point in his development. Look at where Jake is today. Could you live with that? Yeah, me too.
Of course, for Chlapik to end up in an arena with a cannon, some sort of draft day deal would have to be made, as there is likely no way he slides to the second round. If we go with the prevailing wisdom that a defenseman will be the first pick for Columbus, combining the second round picks to move up would not be a bad move.
Chlapik Up Close
This a nice profile of Chlapik, providing a pretty comprehensive view of his game and approach.