2019-20 Team: BK Mlada Boleslav
Date of Birth: Nov. 30, 2001
Place of Birth: Praha, Czech Republic
Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 194 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 37th (Amongst EU skaters)
- Future Considerations: 213th
- The Hockey Writers (Fisher): 207th
While Karel Klikorka may be an unknown prospect to those that don’t follow hockey overseas, he has the chance to be a great defenseman. Playing for BK Mlada Boleslav, he managed to score one goal and zero assists for 1 point in 11 games played.
A big two-way defender, Klikorka makes his impact felt at both ends of the ice. When in the defensive zone, he is not afraid to go into the corners and battle it out. He plays a physical game and can often be seen making big hits. When opposing players are around the net, he makes sure to clear the area, often using his big frame in the process. With the puck on his stick, he makes smart plays under pressure and makes a great first pass to his forwards breaking through the neutral zone.
Related: THW’s 2020 NHL Draft Guide
Klikorka is also good in the offensive zone. He is great at getting his heavy shot through traffic. Many scouts would like to see him shoot more but when he does fire it, he has a great shot. Klikorka also likes to jump into the rush as a fourth forward. When the puck transitions up the ice, he joins the rush and is a good enough skater to get back if the puck goes the other way. He makes smart decisions with the puck and is good at running a power play from the point. He is always making heads-up plays and is great at setting his forwards up in the slot.
For the team that calls Klikorka’s name on draft day, they will be getting a great prospect on the back end. A smooth-skating defenseman who can run a power play and be physical is hard to find. Although he will still need to round out his game before making the jump to the pros, Klikorka has all the makings of a great player down the road.
Other THW Profiles
“Klikorka is a smart two-way defenseman who uses his size and smart decision-making in all three zones to his advantage. His passing is really solid for a more defense-oriented player, and he is able to create some nice chances with his puck skills. His shot is an amazing tool on its own – very heavy and very accurate. But not used as much as it should be.
Defensively, he is strong without the puck as he is able to quickly read opposite players and decide what the best course of action for him is in that exact situation. He is cutting the lanes rather well and has very good defensive awareness, which was best visible during the World Junior Championship, where he played a defensive role on the first pairing and excelled.” – Samuel Tirpak/DobberProspects
“Karel Klikorka is the other first-timer on defence, and like Kucerik, is a strong, physical defender who has mainly played against men this season. He appears to have some scoring ability as well, and will be tasked with quickly moving the puck up the ice while playing with captain Libor Zabransky.” – Ary M/Silver Seven Sens
Karel Klikorka – 2020 NHL Draft Projection
With Klikorka being ranked as 37th amongst European skaters by NHL Central Scouting, I predict that he goes a bit later than where they have him ranked. He is a physical, two-way defender that could provide some value to an NHL team in the future but many other scouts and analysts have him ranked lower. If I had to predict, I would see him going somewhere in the fifth or sixth round on draft day.
- Decision making
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Shot Frequency
With Klikorka, the team that drafts him will have to be patient with him. When he comes over, he will need to adapt to the North American ice and will almost definitely need to spend some time in the minors before making the jump to the NHL. When he does though, I could see him being a middle or bottom-pairing defenseman who plays a physical game and can chip in on offense when needed.
Risk – 3.5/5, Reward – 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 6/10, Defense – 8/10
In 2016-17, while playing for HC Letnany U16, he led the Czech U16 league in goals and points by a defenseman with 20 goals and 45 points respectively while also being the most penalized player with 32 penalty minutes.