2022-23 Team: AIK (HockeyAllsvenskan)
Date of Birth: June 15, 2005
Place of Birth: Zvolen, Slovakia
Height: 6-foot-1, Weight: 201 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: First Year Eligible
NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters): 4th
FC Hockey: 11th
Elite Prospects: 11th
TSN (Bob McKenzie): 9th
The Hockey Writers (Baracchini): 10th
The Hockey Writers (Horn): 9th
Dalibor Dvorsky is an excellent center prospect with a great shot and the defensive instincts to be a two-way force in the NHL someday. Playing in the second tier Swedish pro league HockeyAllsvenskan, Dvorsky has established himself as one of the top-10 prospects in most prospect evaluators’ minds, with the vast majority seeing him as a top-16 talent. This is his first year playing against grown men, after several years of being the youngest player on his team at the junior level, and he has remained effective while showing off more of what he could be in the NHL.
Dvorsky is a creative offensive player with a wicked shot that projects to score quite a bit in the NHL when he hits his prime. Both his wrist shot and slap shot have a remarkable quickness and power to them, allowing him to catch defenders and goalies off guard. He is also quite good at making tough passes, threading the puck through tight spaces between skates and sticks to find an open teammate. Dvorsky has been excellent on the powerplay, controlling play from the right circle where he sets up shop as a distributor or a finisher with his heavy slapper, playing a similar role to Elias Pettersson of the Vancouver Canucks.
Few young players show the defensive instincts and tenacity that Dvorsky has shown, let alone in a professional league against tough competition. He is good at using his solid frame to win puck battles along the boards before moving the puck back in the other direction. I expect he’ll be an above average defensive centerman in the NHL with solid offensive results as well, while playing significant minutes on both special teams units for whichever team lands him.
He could use some work with an NHL skating coach (few prospects couldn’t), as his acceleration and top speed are a bit lackluster and could hold him back from being a truly dynamic offensive player. Dvorsky already has the frame, creativity, and shot of an NHL player, so growing a bit more in his skating could make him an absolute force for years to come.
Related: 2023 NHL Draft Guide
As a 17-year-old playing in a pro league Dvorsky has scored 14 points in his first 36 games so far this year, making him the leading scorer amongst all U18 players in the Allsvenskan. He has also played in 10 games for AIK’s J20 team which plays in Sweden’s top junior league. In those 10 games he accumulated an absurd 21 points and looked like a man amongst boys even though he was still one of the younger players in the league.
Dvorsky made Team Slovakia for the 2023 World Juniors where he looked excellent as a 17-year-old in a tournament typically reserved for 19 year olds. His three points in five games don’t exactly pop off the page, but his creativity and stick handling were on full display. I expect him to be a huge part of Team Slovakia in next year’s tournament, and he’ll be eligible for another one after that where he would likely be dominant if he’s not already in the NHL.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Dalibor Dvorsky – NHL Draft Projection
Dvorsky is very highly thought of by plenty of scouts, as evidenced by his high ranking on Bob McKenzie’s list which is informed strictly by NHL scouts. He looked solid for Slovakia at the 2023 World Juniors which helped his case as well. I think Dvorsky could go anywhere from the 8-15 range on draft day. He might not be the most exciting prospect in the draft, but he looks like a very reliable player and a safe pick.
“He is always calling for the puck and his teammates, no matter if he’s in HockeyAllsvenskan, the J20 Nationell, or representing Slovakia, know to move it to him. From there, he will either go for his preference, a quick-release one-timer or patiently move into a better angle for a wrist shot.” – Nick Richard, Dobber Prospects
“Dvorsky is a versatile forward with hands and offensive smartness that is one of the best in the 2023 draft class. When you combine that with a shot that has both enormous power and accuracy you know you won’t get disappointed when he gets into the offensive zone.” – Fredrik Haak, FC Hockey
Related: Early Look at the 2024 NHL Draft
“He’s sound positionally defensively. He uses his body to gain inside positioning on defenders and shields pucks effectively. He has struggled in spurts with the pace required of centres at higher levels (whether that be last summer’s world juniors, or the pro game, he could stand to get and play a little quicker) and some scouts worry about his consistency at five-on-five, but he has shown important progress on that front and showed well at this winter’s world juniors at evens.” – Scott Wheeler, The Athletic, (2023 NHL Draft top 64 prospects: Scott Wheeler’s March ranking, March 1, 2023)
- Defensive Play
- Difficult Passes
- Wrist Shot
- Compete Level
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Add Some Speed
- Can Get Stuck Playing at the Perimeter
Dvorsky looks to me like a player who could comfortably slot in as a second-line center in the NHL, with the potential to play on a top line if he shows more offense in the NHL than he has to this point. He will likely be a matchup center who plays significant minutes on the penalty kill while chipping in offense in the 50-70 point range. Dvorsky is on the young side for the 2023 Draft, meaning he has plenty of time to continue growing and developing certain mechanical skills like his skating.
Risk – 1/5, Reward – 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 7.5/10, Defense – 10/10
Achievements & Awards
- 2021-22 Hlinka Gretzky Cup Silver Medal
- 2021-22 Hlinka Gretzky Cup Most Goals (8)
Remember Dalibor Dvorsky’s Name for the 2023 NHL Draft
Dvorsky Could Be Latest From Slovakia Taken in the First Round