Vaclav Karabacek THW Close-Up:
Date of birth: 5/2/1996
Place of birth: Prague, Czech Republic
Ht: 5’11” Wt: 185 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2014
THW The Next Ones Rankings (January 2014): 56
THW War Room Rankings (April): 55
Future Considerations: not ranked
Craig Button: 47
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.
“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.“
“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 – Draftsite.com
Karabacek played for the Czech Republic seven times receiving a silver medal along the way.
Risk: 1.5/5 Reward: 3/5
Top-six scoring winger
Battles for every puck
Offensive instincts and positioning
Strong on his skates
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
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
THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect: Chris Ralph