“Down The Highway”
Prospects Who Are Close, But Likely Need A Touch More Seasoning
Jakub Zboril-Defense, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
Jakub Zboril sits somewhere between this category and the last. He was drafted higher than several guys in the categories above, but his development hasn’t always trended upward. Zboril struggled last season, coming well short of the stellar offensive numbers he’d posted in his draft year. In fairness, this was in part due to being asked to play more of a stay-at-home game alongside partner Thomas Chabot (this past year’s WJC MVP). Part of it was a genuine regression.
This season, Zboril has rebounded quite nicely. Currently in “The Q,” Zboril has six goals and 19 points through 23 games for the division leading Sea Dogs. In the WJC, Zboril recorded four assists and was a plus-2 for the Czechs while anchoring their blue line. But, once again, the performance had its ups and downs. Often a great play would be followed by a bad pinch or a bad penalty. There’s no denying the talent is there….it’s just taking a bit longer for Zboril to put all the pieces together than his fellow B’s prospects.
A Lot to Be Excited About
Zboril is a fluid, however, not elite, skater. He does not hesitate to join the rush or push the pace and possesses a good first-pass. He has a hard and accurate shot, and does not hesitate one iota to throw the body around; he’s been suspended for multiple games in each of the past two seasons for borderline hits.
Defensively, the 6 foot 2, 185 pound Czech possesses great positioning but could stand to add some bulk to his rangy frame. He was muscled off of pucks on more than a few occasions in the WJC; a trend that will only continue at the next level. The rise of McAvoy and Lauzon push Zboril to Providence next year to round out his game.