2016-17 Team: HC Zlin (#12)
Date of Birth: September 5, 1999
Place of Birth: Kromeriz, Czech Republic
Ht.: 6’0” Wt.: 178 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: Prospect is eligible for 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
- NHL Central Scouting: 11th (EU, Final)
- NHL Central Scouting: 15th (EU, Mid-term)
- Bob McKenzie: 71st (Mid-season)
- Craig Button: 87th (March)
- Jeff Marek: Unranked (October)
- ISS: Unranked (May)
Born 10 days before the deadline, smooth-skating Filip Chytil is one the youngest 2017 NHL Draft prospects. At 17 years old, Chytil played in the Czech Elite league last season. The experience could provide invaluable experience for the teenager as he prepares to enter the professional ranks in North America. He also stood out in several international 18-and-under tournaments last season. Chytil collected three points in four outings, helping the Czech Republic claim a gold medal at the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.
With experience at center and left wing, Chytil utilizes a smooth skating style and slick puck-handling skills to create scoring chances. His speed and determination allow him to be a dependable defender. Known for being strong in transition, Chytil often creates turnovers with deft stickwork and high-level hockey IQ.
— Martin Nečas (@necas88) October 23, 2016
Chytil’s footspeed is a priority for opposing defenders. He has a powerful first stride and accelerates quickly through the neutral zone. Aided by elite speed, Chytil is capable of racing past opponents on outside rushes. Despite not possessing tremendous upper-body strength, Chytil is gritty on defense. He wins puck battles and is strong on his skates.
While slightly undersized, Chytil’s offensive instincts helped him score four goals among eight points in 38 regular-season games with HC Zlin last season. Entrusted with penalty-kill responsibilities at the international levels, Chytil displayed good poke-checking skills and proved responsible with zone play. It’s time for him to hit the weight room.
NHL Draft Projection
For NHL clubs seeking to bolster their coral of puck-handling prospects, Chytil certainly would add depth to any organization. Still young, Chytil’s playmaking abilities could entice a franchise to invest a second- or third-round draft pick. The team could then stash the young European skater away in the AHL for a season or two.
“Chytil is an outstanding skater. His stride is near textbook, and it gives him excellent top-end speed, as well as great power. Chytil is willing to play a gritty and physical game. Filip Chytil is also very skilled. He has a heavy wrist shot. He gets that shot off-quickly as well as accurately, with a lightning quick release.” – Ben Kerr, lastwordonhockey.com
“One of the better Czechs at the Five Nations, Chytil is a strong, two-way center who does all the right things on the ice. He plays against men back home right now.” – Ryan Kennedy, thehockeynews.com
- Puck-handling skills
- Skating ability
- Two-way game
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Upper-body strength
- Maintain consistency
The youthful Chytil likely will need time to bulk up and add upper-body muscle before he will be able to crack an NHL lineup. With his mature two-way game and unique skill-set, Chytil could develop into a top-six forward if provided with the proper seasoning.
Risk – 2/5, Reward 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 8/10, Defense – 7/10
One of the Czech Republic’s top threats, Chytil had a busy international travel itinerary over the past year. At the 2017 Five Nations Tournament, Chytil recorded one goal among three points in four outings. Appearing in five games at the 2017 IIHF U18 World Championship, he collected two goals and three assists. Highlighting the past season, Chytil scored a goal to propel the Czech Republic U18 squad to a 4-3 upset win over the U.S., which clinched 2016 Ivan Hlinka tournament championship.
Jeff Hawkins is a career sportswriter who has collected eight industry awards, including two Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) honors. Hawkins has served as a beat writer for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and UHL’s Adirondack IceHawks. A husband and father, Hawkins enjoys live music, hiking, New York-style pizza with Dr. Pepper, and writing with his golden Labrador retriever “mutt” cuddled around his feet.