2019-20 Team: Everett Silvertips / WHL
Date of Birth: Aug 16, 2002
Place of Birth: Kadan, Czech Republic
Ht: 6-foot-0 Wt: 187 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 176th (among NA Skaters)
- Larry Fisher’s Top 500 Final Rankings: 185th
- Andrew Forbes Top 217 for March: 133rd
If you look only at career statistics, then you may be wondering why Everett Silvertips forward Michal Gut is considered by many to be an easy 2020 NHL Draft pick. In his first season playing in the WHL, the Czech center posted a somewhat underwhelming 13 goals in 51 games, despite being seen as a goalscoring forward.
However, even if his goalscoring totals were just okay last year, Gut has the potential of a third-round pick. He sees the ice like the best in the draft, and he has an incredible hockey-IQ that allows him to utilize his size and scoring touch to be a constant threat on the ice.
Related: 2020 NHL Draft Guide
Despite having all of those intangibles, there are other areas that Gut struggles with, preventing him from being in the upper-echelon of prospects. Right now, his skating is just average, and he defensive play is suspect, meaning that he will likely be a bit of a project for the franchise that selects him.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Michal Gut – NHL Draft Projection
While he has a solid toolkit, Gut is not seen as one of the standouts at the 2020 NHL Draft. With this in mind, he will likely be selected in the fifth round or later this year, if he is selected at all.
Given the insane amount of potential he possesses, it seems unlikely that a franchise wouldn’t be willing to take a chance on Gut should he still be on the board late in Round 7. With his full skill set in mind, I would expect him to be selected no later than the fifth-round.
Czech centre with good size, feet, and hands. Displays decent hand in tight spaces. Has enough speed to get separation and shows good footwork. He is a goal scorer first and foremost, and puts himself in position to receive pucks and place his shots in small openings.Bill Placzek – draftsite.com
A sturdy center who plays the game with an edge at times. Gut has a good shot and solid vision on the ice but his skating can be laborious at times.Dobberprospcts.com
Gut is only 17 years old — there’s plenty of time for him to continue to round out his game. There’s a lot of promise in him as he continues to become more accustomed to the North American style.Peter Baracchini – THW
- Tough, durable center
- Lots of offensive skill, with great hands
- Great vision and hockey IQ
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Average skating
- Recent injury struggles
- Lacking defensive game
Gut is, in many ways, the poster child of a boom or bust prospect. If everything hits perfectly, he could be skating in the top-six of the franchise that selects him in three years, scoring at a steady clip.
If he struggles with injury or is unable to improve his skating in meaningful ways, then Gut could just as likely never get past the AHL, or only get starting NHL time in a limited fashion as a call-up.
Risk – 4/5, Reward – 5/5
It may be strange giving a late-round prospect such a high risk-reward rating, but something just feels different about Gut. When he is playing well, he has that, let’s say je ne sais quoi, that makes you think that he has the talent to become a star in the NHL.
Related: THW 2020 Mock NHL Draft Round 1
Other times, you see a true project who has the chance to develop a complete, NHL caliber game, but will require a lot of time and effort to get there. However, if given that time, he has the potential to be a top-six scorer, likely at a fifth-round or later price, which is fantastic value for the franchise that selects him.
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.