2022-23 Team: Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
Date of Birth: Aug. 3, 2005
Place of Birth: Jihlava, CZE
Height: 6-foot-2, Weight: 176 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2023 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters): 172nd
- Elite Prospects: 91st
- Daily Faceoff: 119th
- FC Hockey: 201st
- DRAFT PROSPECTS HOCKEY: 239th
One of the youngest prospects available in this year’s draft, Vojtech Port was able to stand out despite playing on the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) worst team this season. He can make plays in all three zones on the ice and showed steady development throughout the year. While he still has a way to go before he becomes a solid NHL prospect, he has decent potential and should hear his name called at the 2023 NHL Draft.
Port’s biggest strength is his ability to defend the rush. Instead of sitting back and waiting for the attackers to cross into the zone, he engages with the puck carrier ahead of the blue line, causing his opposition to either lose the puck or go offside. He is also great at cutting off the middle of the ice, forcing the puck carrier-wide, and helping to limit high-danger chance opportunities from forming.
Related: 2023 NHL Draft Guide
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As for his work in the offensive zone, Port showed a willingness to join the rush and try to create opportunities. He is deceptive enough with the puck on his stick to pull defenders out of position and can find open teammates with tape-to-tape passes. A prospect who continually flies under the radar, his playmaking ability would be better recognized if he played on a stronger team.
In his first WHL season, Port finished the year with four goals and 17 points in 48 games. Those numbers would have been higher if not for a season-ending upper-body injury suffered in mid-February. The hope is that he can bounce back strong during the 2023-24 season and show just how productive he can be when healthy the entire year.
While there is a lot to like about Port’s game, he still has areas that he needs to improve, with the biggest one being his defensive play outside of the rush. When the opposition sets up, he drifts out of position and has trouble winning puck battles along the boards. The good news is that he still has plenty of time to develop these traits, as he doesn’t turn 18 until August.
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Vojtech Port- NHL Draft Projection
Port is the type of prospect who, if teams invest the time to develop, could become a valuable asset down the line. He has potential, which is why he should be drafted in the later rounds. Expect him to be selected in either the sixth or seventh round of this year’s draft.
“Port has really impressed me after joining the Oil Kings as one of the few bright spots on a historically poor team. He plays a very unique offensive brand of hockey full of creativity and mental flexibility. His head is always up surveying his options and he has the poise and gumption to hold onto the puck until he finds the most dangerous option.” – Donesh Mazloum, FC Hockey.
“He knows how to use his large frame to his advantage, he skates and handles the puck well, and he isn’t afraid to be a focal point for his team. There could be a lot of untapped potential here.”- Derek Neumeier, McKeen’s Hockey.
- Defending against the rush
- Puckhandling skills
- Jumping up in the transition game
- Playmaking ability
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Defensive positioning
- Using his stick more to disrupt the play
- Skating mechanics
Port’s development over the next few seasons will be interesting to watch. He has a ton of potential, but will he be able to round out his game to the point that he becomes a solid bottom-pair defender? There is definitely a path to the NHL, but it will take a lot of hard work and time.
Risk – 1/5, Reward – 2/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 5/10, Defense – 5/10