2019-20 Team: Kelowna Rockets
Date of Birth: April 16, 2002
Place of Birth: Tabor, Czech Republic
5-foot-10 Wt: 170 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 85th (Amongst NA skaters)
- Future Considerations: 96th
- THW Larry Fisher’s April Rankings: 61st
- Andrew Forbes Top 217 for March: 65th
- Bell’s Top 124 February Rankings: 86th
Whenever Pavel Novak steps out onto the ice, his skill becomes evident to all who bear witness. Before coming over to play with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League, Novak spent his youth hockey years playing for Motor Ceske Budejovice at various levels. Last season, he spent the year playing with their U-19 squad where he put up 29 goals and added 16 assists for 45 points in 31 games played.
Coming overseas this past season, Novak joined the Rockets and made an immediate impact. In 55 games played, he scored 25 goals and added 33 assists for 58 points. When he is out on the ice, Novak oozes with skill. Although he stands at 5-foot-10, he is not afraid to be physical. He goes into the corners and battles hard for the puck every time and does not get deterred by bigger opponents. He drives the net with the puck and is great at finding loose rebounds in and around the crease.
Related: THW’s 2020 Draft Guide
Novak also has incredible vision and playmaking abilities. With his great hands, he creates time and space for his teammates to get set up. He draws opponents in and makes them look silly.
One thing that I would like to see Novak work on is his consistency. Having followed him all season, there were some nights where he looked lost. Although adjusting to the smaller ice surface may have played a factor, I would like to see him push the pace of play every time he steps out on the ice. As with most prospects, Novak is still growing into his own. With the NHL being a bigger, faster league, Novak will have to add more weight as he continues to hone his game.
With an up and coming Rockets team, Novak will look to play a big role come next season. Becoming somewhat of a veteran on the team, Novak will be able to guide the younger players through the hardships of the WHL. Although the language adjustment was an issue for Novak this past season, he has welcomed the transition with open arms and will look to be a major part of the team’s plans now and in the future.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Pavel Novak – NHL Draft Projection
Although Novak was ranked as 85th amongst North American skaters in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings, I predict Novak to go much higher than what they give him credit for. Depending on what a team is looking for, Novak could go as high as the end of the second round. As a safe bet, I would predict that he goes somewhere in the third round. Novak has a ton of skill and will serve the team that selects him well.
“Novák is a good skater who likes to push the pace and get the puck to the middle of the ice. He doesn’t always get there with his feet as consistently as one would like but he filters the puck to the slot with efficiency and consistency. He still plays a bit of a perimeter role at times but his passing and vision are effective from the outside at the junior level. He likely needs to find that extra gear to get to the middle more often at the next level. When he does so in the WHL, he is extremely dangerous and has good hands in tight to find daylight.” – Tony Ferrari/DobberProspects
“Good speed and a great shot. He can be used on the powerplay with his hands and vision to set up teammates. He also does well to get open to make a play.” – Draft Site
- Great shot
- Good vision
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
Novak has the chance to make an impact at the next level. Although he does not project as a top-line player, he can still be a very effective option down the line for the team that drafts him. If all goes well for Novak and he develops properly, I can see him being a middle-six winger down the road. With his offensive potential not fully reached yet, he could become a guy that provides a spark for his team but can also consistently produce on offence. An NHL comparable for me would be someone like David Perron. Perron has an edge to him but can put up points on a nightly basis like Novak can. They are both on the smaller side but both of them can play effective games when needed.
Risk/Reward Analysis Risk – 2.5/5, Reward- 4/5 Fantasy Hockey Potential Offense – 8/10, Defense – 6.5/10
In 2016-17, while playing for Motor Ceske Budejovice’s U16 team, he led the league in game-winning goals with nine. In 2017-18, with Budejovice’s U18 team, they were crowned league champions. In 2018-19, he won a European Youth Olympics Festival gold medal while representing his home country of the Czech Republic.
My name is Mathieu Sheridan. I am a writer here at THW who covers the OHL and prospects in general.