Monday, July 11, 2005


CHL Import Draft: Vojta, Polak, Pavelec, Cmorej

Since all is still quiet on the NHL front, I might as well provide a few more thoughts on certain CHL Import Draft selections.

Jakub Vojta - #1 to the Ottawa 67s

We know the #1 CHL Import pick (like the NHL Draft) doesn't always equal the most talented pick. Vojta is very talented, but he won't be the best player to come out of this lot.

This Spartan defensive prospect is quite a polarizing player to the scouting world. ISS ranks him #50 for the 2005 Entry Draft and sees him as a boom-or-bust proposition. McKeen's ranks Vojta #31 and thinks highly of his offensive game.

What you will get with Vojta is a great Power Play quarterback who loves to carry the puck and pinch-in early and often. What Ottawa also gets is a thin, smallish defender who has had troubles in his own defensive zone.

Vojta looks to be a good candidate for Czech League stardom, but a hit-or-miss NHL prospect. NHL teams just don't let defenders this small and this loosey-goosey onto their rosters unless they can really produce (and even then, it's not always easy to find a spot for these types). Brian Kilrea is probably the best CHL coach Vojta could find in order to round out his game.

Marek Polak - #7 to the Sudbury Wolves

Listed at 6'2" 200lbs and 1 of 3 Trinec prospects to be selected in the Import Draft (and one who is not eligible until 2006), and the only one I know absolutely nothing about! Trinec has had a pretty good junior/midget crop in the past few years, and Marek Polak was never talked about in the same breath as their more talented prospects like Jan Danecek and Tomas Pospisil (who went #4 to Sarnia). In fact, I can't find anything in my files or past emails about this guy! I know Sudbury fans are probably scratching their heads and asking "Who is this guy?"

Looking at his stats, Marek played most of the season with the Havirov junior squad and piled up a LOT of penalty minutes (over 300) in the last two years. Maybe Polak is far better suited to the CHL and the Czech Junior Extraleague. Still, I caution anyone against drafting a 'Polak'...history shows how badly they turn out ;)

Michal Repik - #21 to the Vancouver Giants

The more I read about Michal Repik, the more excited I am that the Giants selected him. Repik lead the Junior Extraleague "A" league in scoring with 57 points in 45 games for a powerful Spartan squad (a teammate of Vojta's). Repik may be just a good 'junior' player, but that's all the Giants need. I just hope this high-scoring winger won't be Marian Havel, Part Deux.

Ondrej Pavelec - #11 to Cape Breton

Pavelec is this year's blue chip goalie from Czechia, and he's the complete opposite of Marek Schwarz. While Schwarz was ultra-hyper and relies solely in his reflexes, Pavelec is a tall goalie (6'2") who relies more on positioning and is cool and focused like The Terminator chasing after John Connor. I've read plenty of glowing reports from various sources, especially Robert Neuhauser, our resident Czech prospect expert.

I think Pavelec will end up being the steal of the CHL Import Draft and will be a good value pick in the NHL draft (I'd expect him to go in the later stages of the first round).

Peter Cmorej - #24 to Prince Albert

"When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's Cmorej"

I've been asked about Cmorej and have seen a few message board posters asking about Cmorej. My contacts in Slovakia don't really even know much about him, since he was never considered much of a prospect.

From what I've heard, he's a tall and thin offensive-minded center and we shouldn't expect too much from him. Will Cmorej be another one of those "11 points in 70 games" imports?

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