With the 26th pick of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Montreal Canadiens have selected Filip Mesar from HK Poprad of Slovakia
About Filip Mesar
To start the season, Mesar helped Slovakia win silver at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup where he finished with eight points in five games. With HK Propod he finished with 16 points in 37 games played at the pro level. While the point production may not show it, Mesar’s overall play is what stands out the most. While the spotlight was on Simon Nemec and Juraj Slafkovsky, Mesar made sure that he wasn’t going to go unnoticed.
Related: 2022 NHL Draft Live Tracker
Mesar is always on the go as he doesn’t have an off switch to his game as he plays with a high level of pace and intensity. He’s a great skater with high-end speed and is able to make moves swiftly and accurately. Teams value strong energetic players in the lineup and Mesar does exactly that.
THW Prospect Profile Except
“The first thing that stands out about Mešár’s game is his high-end skating ability. He has a sound stride and good top speed, a bit similar to Seth Jarvis as a draft prospect, though not to Jarvis’ level. Because of his high-end skating, Mešár is quite efficient in transition and gaining the offensive zone with puck possession. Though he’s capable of playing on the wing or down the middle, his effective transition play could make him a prime candidate to play center for an NHL club.
“Mešár’s skating isn’t the only positive trait of his game. He’s a sneaky good stick-handler and is quite elusive as a result. His playmaking is good, and he has an underrated shot. The only issue with his shot is that he’ll shoot from just about anywhere in the offensive zone, so his shot quality will have to improve. That is an easily correctable issue, though, and could come in time as he adds weight to his frame and becomes more comfortable attacking high-danger areas.
“Another thing to like about Mešár is his versatility. His transition game makes him a good candidate to play center, but that also works on the wing. As someone who’s covered the New Jersey Devils for a while, having someone who can transition the puck on the wing a la Jesper Bratt can go a long way in helping a team form a strong top-six.”
How This Affects the Canadiens’ Plans?
After taking Juraj Salfkovsky first overall, the Canadiens draft someone that he knows all too well in Mesar. He’s a high-energy winger with great speed and the ability to play an in your face style hockey. Despite his size, he’s aggressive and always in attack mode when engaged on the forecheck. The Canadiens are looking to get quicker on the wing and Mesar brings that consistently every time when he’s on the ice. He’s a player that can fit in very well as a second or third line winger who can provide some steady secondary scoring down the line.
Peter is in his third year with The Hockey Writers, covering the Toronto Maple Leafs and heading the Draft and Prospects section. He has previously interned at The Hockey News and worked on Toronto Marlies broadcasts for Rogers TV. He currently is the co-host of the podcast Sticks in the 6ix and a frequent guest on Maple Leafs Lounge. Aside from hockey, he also enjoys drumming, animation and impressions/ voices.