2022-23 Team: Vancouver Giants
Date of Birth: Nov. 12, 2004
Place of Birth: Trencin, SVK
Ht: 6-foot-4 Wt: 185 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2023 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 9th (amongst NA skaters)
- The Hockey Writers (Horn): 19th
- The Hockey Writers (Baracchini): 35th
- FC Hockey: 42nd
- TSN/McKenzie: 19th
- Elite Prospects: 22nd
- TSN/Craig Button: 22nd
- Dobber Prospects: 32nd
- Sportsnet: 13th
Samuel Honzek was selected 10th overall in the 2022 CHL Import Draft by the Vancouver Giants, and since then, he has been their main offensive weapon. Honzek has played a top role in all situations, playing on the first units of the power play (PP) and penalty-kill (PK), and despite missing a long stretch due to an injury sustained at the 2023 World Junior Championships (WJC), he is second on the Giants in scoring and seventh in points per game average (PPG) among draft-eligible players in the WHL, with 1.31 PPG despite missing 18 games.
Honzek has been impressive during his time in North America and has shown that his style is best suited to the smaller ice surface and a physical style of play. His skating mechanics look awkward, but that has more to do with his large frame that still needs to be filled out. His skating is slightly above average, as he has great speed and agility on his edges. He does need to add strength to improve on his first step to generate separation against professionals.
Related: THW’s 2023 NHL Draft Guide
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His size and developing strength have made him difficult to contain, giving opposing defences fits. He uses his long reach as a weapon to help him strip pucks in open ice, win board battles, and keep possession on the attack. He is adept at using that reach along with his mobility to generate separation while maintaining control, even at top speed. While he isn’t considered a physical player, as he doesn’t initiate contact, he does, however, use his large frame to absorb contact and physical punishment. He is not a peripheral player and likes to play in the “dirty areas” around the net and in the low slot, where he is capable of tipping in pucks and quick to jump on rebounds. He also boasts a quick release which, paired with his hard and accurate shot, makes it difficult for goaltenders to track, especially in traffic.
Honzek has to work on several areas of his game. Like all players his age, he will need to improve on his defensive game and build a consistent work ethic as he relies far too much on his size to carry him through games, something that he will not be able to do at the professional level in North America.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Samuel Hozek – NHL Draft Projection
Honzek is a first-round talent who will likely be selected between 15th and 25th overall. He is an ideal prospect for a team in search of a skilled top-six forward with size, but he will need a few seasons to develop his game, grow into his large frame and find his consistency. Patience and individual attention will be necessary to help him reach his full potential.
“With size as the first attractive element (6-foot-4, 185 pounds), the rest of his game screams pro player.” Sam Cosentino, Sportsnet
“Honzek is a large winger who moves well for his size and competes well enough to get to the interior parts of the offensive zones. I don’t think his pure skill will ever dazzle you, but he has enough hands and vision to make plays as a pro and provide offense.” Corey Pronman, NHL Draft 2023 top prospects: Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli lead Corey Pronman’s list, The Athletic, Nov 15, 2022.
- Wrist shot
- Play in Traffic
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Defensive game
- Attention to detail (focus)
Honzek is listed as a center but is more likely to become a top-six winger. He has the size, mobility, situational awareness, and puck-handling abilities to become a strong two-way forward at the NHL level after a few seasons of development.
Risk – 2/5, Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 6.5/10, Defense – 6/10
Honzek won a silver medal with Team Slovakia at the 2022 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup and a gold medal for Team Slovakia at the 2022 U18 division 1A World Junior Championships.
Samuel Honzek Statistics