2020-21 Team: HC Kometa Brno / Czech
Date of Birth: Sep. 11, 2003
Place of Birth: Brno, CZE
Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 165 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 21st (amongst EU skaters)
- Peter Baracchini’s Final Rankings: 138th
- Smaht Scouting: 128th
- Dobber Prospects: Honorable Mention
For 2021 NHL Draft hopeful Jakub Brabenec, the 2020-21 season did not go as planned. Back in June 2020, he was selected by the Charlottetown Islanders in the Canadian Hockey League import draft and was expected to make the jump to the QMJHL for the start of the season. However, due to uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, he decided to stay in the Czech Republic to continue developing his game.
While things didn’t go as originally planned, this decision worked out Czech native. Brabenec spent most of the 2020-21 season playing against men in the Czech Extraliga, the top professional hockey league in the country. While he only scored one point in 23 games played, getting so much starting time as a 17-year-old deserves praise.
Throughout the season, he showed signs of continual development, especially in the areas of skating and decision-making. He learned to make the right choices with the puck to limit mistakes and improved his overall toolkit from the prior year.
When he was able to take on players in own age on the International stage, Brabenec was a standout for the Czech national team. In five games at the WJC-18, he posted four points with an offensively anemic team and often looked like one of the best players on the ice.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Jakub Brabenec – NHL Draft Projection
While Brabenec won’t be in that top-tier of players selected in the draft, he has a strong resume and will draw a lot of attention from NHL general managers. He is a big, strong skating centerman with offensive upside, after all, which is what all GMs love to have in their prospect pool.
Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide
With this in mind, I would expect Brabenec to hear his name called around the third-round of the 2021 NHL Draft. He could slip to the early fourth-round, but I wouldn’t expect him to fall much further than that.
He has good size, is a strong skater with speed, balance and very good mobility … he never stops skatingGoran Stubb – NHL director of European scouting
He’s one of the more skilled players on a low-skill team and has some decent speed, too. He’s not a top-tier prospect, but he’s a draftable player based on his skating and skill. I think he has a pretty good work ethic in all zones, too.Chris Peters – hockeysense.com
- Strong skater
- Smart with the puck
- Lots of experience playing against men
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
Right now, Brabenec’s biggest question is about his offense. Is he a player with solid offensive upside who was just playing in a tough situation, or will he always be more of a bottom-six forward with low output but solid fundamentals?
Considering the fact that he is already playing against men as a 17-year-old, this bodes well for Brabenec’s future in the NHL. He has the toolkit to take over a bottom-six role for a franchise, and if he developed well, could become an integral part of a penalty kill in the coming years.
Risk – 3/5, Reward – 3/5
While there is a lot to like about Brabenec, he does have a long way to go before he will be NHL ready. He will likely need three to four years before he will even be ready to take on a minor role with a franchise, and will need to spend a few years in the AHL to develop his game.
If given the time, though, everything is there for Brabenec to excel in the future. He could be a solid low-risk prospect with upside, which would be well worth a selection at the draft.
Jakub Brabenec Statistics
Eugene Helfrick is a Tampa Bay Lightning writer who is actually from Tampa Bay. He has written about the Lightning for six years, covering everything from their run to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, to their crushing first-round exit in 2019, to their redemption in the bubble in 2020. While he is happy to talk about just about anything from cows to cars to video games, hockey will always remain one of his favorite pastimes.