Calgary Flames select Samuel Honzek at 16th overall in 2023 NHL Draft
Photo credit:Kevin Light/Vancouver Giants
By Ryan Pike2 months ago
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The Calgary Flames have made their first addition at the 2023 NHL Draft. With their first round pick, 16th overall, the Flames have selected forward Samuel Honzek from the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants.
Honzek was ranked 36th by FC Hockey and was the ninth-ranked North American skater by the NHL’s Central Scouting Service.
Via Elite Prospects, here’s the rundown on Honzek:
Rare is a shift where Honzek’s ability to protect the puck doesn’t appear. The 6-foot-4 winger gets and keeps defenders on his backcheck, using body positioning to create offence. But instead of just brute-forcing plays, he plays with a ton of finesse. He fakes cutbacks in one direction before going the other, turns to wait for pressure to arrive before accelerating, and combines the edges with in-motion handling to slip around defenders.
In his first season in North America, playing with the Giants as an import from Slovakia, Honzek had 23 goals and 56 points in 43 games. He’s a left shot forward that can play wing or centre listed at 6’4″ and 185 pounds. He primarily played the wing in the WHL last season. He’s a November 2004 birthday, making him one of the older first-time eligible players in this draft class.
Originally from Trencin, Slovakia, Honzek worked his way up from the HC Dukla Trencin system and played his first pro games as a 16-year-old in 2020-21 in Slovakia’s Tipsport Liga. He spent most of 2021-22 in Slovakian pro hockey before migrating to the Western Hockey League for 2022-23 via the CHL’s import draft.
Honzek is the seventh Slovakian player drafted by the Flames in franchise history. Adam Ruzicka, selected by the Flames in 2017, hails from Bratislava.
The Flames have long been a team where their skilled players aren’t particularly big and their big players aren’t particularly skilled. Honzek is a tantalizing prospect because of how he combines size and skill. You can understand, given the mix of prospects in the Flames system, why they would covet a player like him.
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