Vaclav Karabacek – The Next Ones: NHL 2014 Draft Prospect Profile

Vaclav Karabacek THW Close-Up:

Date of birth: 5/2/1996

Place of birth: Prague, Czech Republic

Ht: 5’11”     Wt: 185 lbs

Shoots: Left

Position: RW

NHL Draft Eligibility: 2014

THW The Next Ones Rankings (January 2014): 56

Chris Stewart - St. Louis Blues
Vaclav Karabacek plays a similar style to Chris Stewart. (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

Other Rankings:

THW War Room Rankings (April): 55

Future Considerations: not ranked

Craig Button: 47

CS Final Rankings for North American skaters: 41


It’s bold for any young player to come to North America from Europe. Vaclav Karabacek that would be his best way to make it to the NHL and follow other Czech players like Jaromir Jagr and Jakub Voracek. He’s a mid-sized winger that is very strong on his skates and battles for every puck. He has great balance and goal scoring touch. Karabacek finishes his goals in front of the net and uses his his quick shot often.

An opportunistic player, Karabacek positions himself in the offensive zone to break in unattested. He does have a lot of work developing the defense side of his game, but he’s shown some nice offensive potential this season. I’ve noticed his skating isn’t all the fluid (rather choppy) and if he ever finds extra acceleration and speed he could be a dangerous winger in the NHL.

Where Will He End Up In June:

Karabacek has really made a name for himself. There is a slight possibility he goes in the 1st round, but he’s a likely better fit in the early-to-mid 2nd round.

Scout’s Honor:

“Karabacek will not wow you with creative hands or slick dekes but rather just play a solid straight forward game where he gets himself to proper spots to make a play. Plays in traffic, digs in the corners, has good feet and solid smarts to make things happen when given a chance. (November 2013)”

Aaron Vickers – Future Considerations

A pure goal-scorer, Karabacek excels at finding the open spots in the offensive zone and bulging the twine. Though not a dynamic skater, he uses his frame well to protect the puck and get into position to make a play. Still needing to round out his game, especially in his own end, Karabacek has improved by leaps and bounds over the course of his first season in North America.

Hockey’s Future

“Rising Czech import presently in the QMJHL. Very smart player with skill and vision. Has some elusiveness but is unafraid of heavy hitting. Has a nice touch to his passes, and loves to hit the soft spots to receive scoring chances and use defenders as screens for his releasing quick shots. Can be strong with the puck and control it in tight. Still needs more strength but has upside long term.

Bill Placzek –



Profile on Last Word On Sports

International Tournaments:

Karabacek played for the Czech Republic seven times receiving a silver medal along the way.


2-3 years

Risk/Reward Analysis:

Risk: 1.5/5   Reward: 3/5

NHL Potential:

Top-six scoring winger


Puck control

Shielding players

Battles for every puck

Offensive instincts and positioning

Strong on his skates

Quick shot


Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:

Defensive play

Becoming a better skater

Finding acceleration and speed

Filling out his frame

Fantasy Hockey Potential:

Offensive: 6.5/10    Defensive: 2/10

NHL Player Comparison:

– NHL comparison: Chris Stewart


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THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect: Chris Ralph