2022-23 Team: Växjö Lakers HC J20
Date of Birth: Apr. 10, 2005
Place of Birth: Praha, Czechia
Height: 6-foot-3, Weight: 201 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2023 first-year eligible
Jakub Stancl is a prospect whose impact on the game goes beyond the scoresheet. Known for his two-way game, he is strong in his own zone and can be trusted on the penalty kill or late in games when trying to protect the lead. A player that does not make a ton of mistakes, it is clear that he is ready for whatever challenge coaches throw at him.
The first thing that jumps out when watching Stancl is his size. At 6-foot-3, 201 pounds, he sticks out on the ice, especially when playing against other U18 players. One common issue with prospects that are bigger is that they don’t know how to use their size to their advantage. That is not the case here, as when the puck is on his stick, it is extremely difficult for defenders to steal it away, thanks to his puckhandling skills and body positioning. He also can play a physical brand of hockey and isn’t afraid to throw a big hit if presented with the opportunity.
A smart player, Stancl is great at facilitating breakouts from his own zone. He makes life easy for his defenders by staying close and understands when it is best to carry the puck over the blue line or make a pass to his wingers. Once he has the puck in the offensive zone, he is not afraid to shoot but also is good at scanning the ice to try and find open teammates. When he is in the offensive zone without the puck, he is always moving around, trying to find the open ice so his teammates can get him the puck in scoring positions. Overall, he understands where the holes in the opposing defence are and looks to exploit them every chance he can.
Latest News & Highlights
The 2022-23 campaign was a busy one for Stancl, as not only did he play in four division tiers in Sweden, but he also represented his country at the World U18s and the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Focusing on his club play, though, one thing that is encouraging is that he played eight games in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) at the age of 17 for the powerhouse Växjö Lakers, who won the championship this season. While he didn’t get many opportunities, never playing over ten minutes in a game, the organization was clearly happy with him as they called him up from the J20 league on six different occasions. The hope is that if he stays in Sweden next season, he can continue his development and get more chances in the SHL or at least not have so much movement between the divisions, as the most games he played consistently in one league was ten in the J20 Nationell from Sept. 7 to Oct. 2.
Related: 2023 NHL Draft Guide
The big question surrounding Stancl is his skating. While it has gotten better over the season, he still lacks an explosive first step and needs to work on the time it takes to accelerate up to his top speed. The good news is these are parts of his game that can be fixed with the help of a skating coach. If he can improve his skating mechanics, there is no doubt he has the potential to become a solid NHL player one day.
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Jakub Stancl- NHL Draft Projection
Stancl’s draft position will depend on if teams view him as a center or as a winger. Most recently, at the World U18s, he played both left and right-wing but played center during the season. Organizations also love to add players with size, but his skating could concern teams, knocking him down the draft list. He has a chance to be a late third-round pick but expect him to go in the late fourth or early fifth round in the 120-140 range.
“Stancl is a modern two-way center with fantastic physical tools and powerfulness that is all-round in so many aspects. He creates chances on his own. He is smart and often finds openings and areas to be an option to start or continue an attack.” – Fredrik Haak, FC Hockey
- Transition game
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Staying focused in games
- Movement in the defensive zone
As mentioned, Stancl has the tools to become an effective NHL player but needs to fix his skating. He also needs to ensure he stays engaged throughout the game, as on occasion, it looks as though he loses focus at times. If the organization that drafts him puts the time in to develop him properly, they could be looking at a late-round steal.
Risk – 1.5/5, Reward – 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 6/10, Defense – 6/10