Vancouver Canucks Prospect Lukas Jasek Looking to Prove Himself at World Juniors
The Vancouver Canucks wanted prospect Lukas Jasek to play in the CHL; now he finally gets a chance to prove himself against the world’s best junior players.
Late-round draft picks out of Europe rarely make it to the NHL. So when the Vancouver Canucks selected forward Lukas Jasek in the sixth round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, they didn’t expect much.
To increase his chances of making it, the Canucks wanted Jasek to make his way over to North America and play junior hockey in the CHL. Jasek liked the idea, but his Czech club’s manager did not, as Jasek told Canucks Army:
“I wanted to play in the CHL,” Jasek told Canucks Army. “The Canucks wanted (that) also, to watch (me) play there”. “I still have contractual obligations to HC Trinec for another season” Jasek continued “of course, I tried to persuade my general manager to allow (my participation in the Import Draft) but without success”.
NHL clubs obviously like to have their prospects in North America. That way, club representatives can actively steer prospect development by meeting with players regularly and watching them play whenever an opportunity presents itself.
But, instead of developing in a league filled with NHL prospects, Jasek had to stay in the Czech Republic. He did appear in 10 games for HC Trinec but failed to record a point and was assigned to HC Frydek-Mistek in the Czech second-tier league.
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In 62 Extraliga games, Jasek has just two goals and five points — not exactly what you would expect from a top prospect. With Frydek-Mistek, however, Jasek has four goals and 13 points in 18 games, clearly profiting from his bigger role.
In addition, Jasek finally gets to prove himself in North America. After being one of the latest cuts from the Czech world junior roster last season, Jasek was included this time around. So, despite playing in the Czech Republic, Jasek is getting a chance to show what he can do against top prospects like Mathew Barzal and Dylan Strome.
In Game 1 against Team Finland, the reigning world junior champions captained by Olli Juolevi, things might have gone even better than expected, as the Czech Republic won 2-1. Jasek centred the third line between Ottawa Senators prospect Filip Chlapik and undrafted Radek Koblizek.
The Czechs are scheduled to face off against Team Switzerland at 10AM PT today.
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