2021-22 Team: Tappara (Liiga)
Date of Birth: Mar. 9, 2004
Place of Birth: Praha, Czechia
Height: 6-feet, Weight: 185 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: First-Year Eligible
- FC Hockey: 66th
- TSN/Bob McKenzie: 54th
- TSN/Craig Button: 44th
- NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters): 21st
- Recruit Scouting: 72nd
- Draft Prospects Hockey: 86th
Tomas Hamara is a sturdy two-way defender who is excellent at supporting his team’s rushes through the neutral zone. He is slightly more offensively minded than defensive, as he can use his great puck skills and calm demeanor to support his teammates. He is not a dynamic talent by any means, which is why he is projected in the second or third round rather than the first.
Hamara is unlikely to stand out too much for an excellent skilled move, but he will stand because he infrequently makes costly mistakes. He is terrific at keeping a cool head in high-pressure situations and making a smart, safe move. He has a solid playmaking game, which he utilizes to great effect while carrying the puck on exits from his defensive zone.
At 6-feet tall and roughly 185 pounds, Hamara doesn’t have excellent size, though he is quite sturdy and is good at maintaining possession through contact. He is not the most physical player, as he prefers to use his stick to break up plays rather than laying a hit.
His defensive positioning is good, and his gap control while defending on the rush stands out as a strength of his. Some of his stick checks against a rush are a little too bold for the NHL level, as the better players will be able to blow right by him, but he has been quite successful at defending in these situations thus far.
Many fans were first introduced to Tomas Hamara when he played for Team Czechia at the 2022 under-18 World Junior Championship, where he showed the world exactly what he is capable of. He was tied for second in points scored by defencemen at the tournament in May with eight points. He tied American Lane Hutson and was four points behind Sweden’s Mattias Hävelid, who led all defencemen with 12. Both Hutson and Hävelid have seen their draft stock improve because of their success in the tournament and are both expected to land somewhere toward the end of the first round or early in the second round.
Hamara was named one of the three best players on Team Czechia at the end of the tournament alongside Jiri Kulich, a near-lock for the first round in 2022, and Eduard Sale, who is likely to be drafted quite high in the 2023 draft.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Tomas Hamara – NHL Draft Projection
Hamara saw his draft stock rise considerably after the tournament. He was generally ranked as a mid-third-round pick who would go just inside the top 100, but he is now being consistently ranked right around the 50th spot. I believe that with more time to reflect on his terrific performance at the 2022 under-18 World Junior Championship, an NHL GM will gladly select him in the second round. I believe he is easily a top-50 talent, and the pick with which he will be selected will reflect that.
“A fluid, offensive defender who blends a great deal of deception into his rush patterns and transitional game. Above-average puck skills” – Cam Robinson, Director of Film Scouting for EPRinkside.com
Related: 2022 NHL Draft Guide
“Very reliable in the defensive zone and at the defensive transition game, but he also supports the offense and flashes skills in the offensive zone.” – Miroslav Simurka, FCHockey
- Defending the rush
- D-zone exits
- Deceptive playmaking
- Stick checking
- Smooth and agile skater
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Confidence to use his physicality
- Straight line speed
- Improve his shot
Hamara has the potential to become a solid top-four defender in the NHL with a consistent two-way game that minimizes defensive errors and maximizes the talent of his teammates. He will likely see more time on the penalty kill than on the power play due to his lack of a dynamic offensive game and his consistent defensive game. If he’s able to maximize his potential at the NHL level, then he will become a dependable top-four defender who is capable of scoring somewhere from 20-30 points per season with really solid defensive results.
Risk – 3/5. Reward – 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 6.5/10, Defense – 8/10
- 2021-22 Liiga Champion
- 2022 U18 WJC All-Star Team
Tomas Hamara Statistics
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Logan is the director of prospect coverage (including the World Junior Championship and NHL Draft) for The Hockey Writers, and he’s also a part of the Detroit Red Wings writing team. He loves reading about statistics and advanced analytics, and discovering how they can enrich his hockey analysis and writing.