2019-20 Team: Portland Winterhawks
Date of Birth: Jan. 27, 2002
Place of Birth: Zurich, Switzerland
Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 190 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 81st (Amongst NA skaters)
- The Hockey Writers (Fisher): 184th
- Future Considerations: 128th
While Simon Knak may not be as well-known as teammate Seth Jarvis, he was still an important piece of the Portland Winterhawks this past season. In 49 games, he managed to score 9 goals and added 25 assists for 34 points. He also represented his country internationally where he collected nine points in 19 games.
What really stands out about Knak’s game is his ability to do a little bit of everything on the ice. When the puck is on his stick, he has the ability to find teammates in the open slot with ease and can do so even with defenders pressuring him. Knak has a great shot and knows how to use it. When he is left open, he can corral the puck quickly and unload a heavy shot to the top of the net before anyone can react.
Related: THW’s 2020 NHL Draft Guide
Knak is no liability on defense either. His skating ability allows him to get back when the puck transitions the other way. He is good at reading passing lanes and can break up passes with his active stick. One thing I would like Knak to work on is his consistency without the puck. On some plays, he is all over the place and wreaking havoc while on other plays, he doesn’t seem to be pushing himself to his limits.
While Knak will probably have to wait a while to hear his name called on draft day, I could seem him become a solid prospect down the line. He has great offensive instincts and if he can continue to grow his game and work on his inconsistencies, then I see no reason why he couldn’t become an impactful NHL player one day.
Other THW Profiles
“Swiss left winger with good size but needs to develop his agility and foot speed. Uses his size, reach and fluid movement skills to close lanes, and even exploded up ice while killing penalties in his limited action on the fourth line at the World Junior U-20s. Really good at quick starting the counter-attack. Has good straight-line speed in open areas, but does tend to stop moving his pins when things close down.” – Bill Placzek/DraftSite
“Winger Simon Knak already captained the Swiss team in the spring at the U18 Worlds, so he should be their top dog up front and play big minutes in all situations. He’s a left-handed shot who likes to play on the right side. He’s a reliable two-way player with good offensive tools.” – Jokke Nevalainen/DobberProspects
Simon Knak – 2020 NHL Draft Projection
Ranked 81st amongst North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, I predict that Knak will go right around where they have him ranked. He has great skills on which he can build on and I think a team will take a chance on him. If I had to predict, I think he will go somewhere in the fourth or fifth round.
- Defensive awareness
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Consistency on a nightly basis
Knak has the chance to make an impact in the NHL, if he continues to work on his overall game. There is no denying he can make an impact but if he could do it on a nightly basis, his value will skyrocket. In the future, I could see him becoming a solid bottom-six forward who can go out and make a difference on both ends of the ice. He is not afraid to go to the dirty areas of the game and would be well suited on the penalty kill due to his speed and experience.
Risk – 3.5/5, Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 7.5/10, Defense – 8/10
In 2018-19, while representing his country at the U18 World Junior Championships, he was named a top-three player on his team.