Boston Bruins: Is defenseman Jakub Zboril NHL-ready?

Boston Bruins, Jakub Zboril #67 (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Boston Bruins, Jakub Zboril #67 (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Will defenseman Jakub Zboril be able to make the Boston Bruins’ roster in 2020-21?

Drafted 13th-overall in 2015, defenseman Jakub Zboril has only played in two NHL games with the Boston Bruins since he was drafted over five years ago.

The now 23-year-year old has spent the last three seasons mainly playing for the Bruins AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins. However, in 2018-19 Zboril was able to make his NHL debut and suit up for two games.

In those two games, Zboril failed to record a point, had an even plus/minus (+/-), and averaged just under 11 minutes of time on ice. Additionally, he had a Corsi-for percentage (CF%) of 56.3, Fenwick-for percentage (FF%) of 60.9, expected goals for (xGF) of 0.7, and expected goals against (xGA) of 0.5.

Zboril’s possession metrics were good, however, two games is a very small sample size and it’s unknown if those stats would remain constant over a full, 82-game season.

Over the course of three AHL seasons, Zboril has played in 182 games. Over those 182 games, Zboril has put up 57 points (11 goals and 46 assists). Interestingly enough, Zboril has put up exactly 19 points in each season.

Furthermore, Zboril has a combined +/- of +35 in the AHL and just 122 penalty minutes.

So far this season, Zboril has been playing on loan for Brno Kometa in the Czech league while we all wait for the 2020-21 NHL season to start. In three games, Zboril has registered one assist, no penalty minutes, and a -1 +/-.

Is Jakub Zboril ready to play for the Boston Bruins?

With such a small sample size of NHL playing time, it’s really hard to tell if Zboril is definitely ready to play in the NHL.

However, with the Bruins being significantly thin when it comes to left-shot defenseman, Zboril is more than likely to make the Bruins roster in 2020-21.

Overall, Zboril isn’t a flashy defenseman that’ll put up many points and often jump in on the rush. Instead, he’s a smart defenseman that uses his skating ability and smarts to play solid shutdown defense and occasionally make a nice offensive play.

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So, with Zboril’s ability to limit his mistakes by knowing the correct play to make and lack of risk-taking, I believe he would be a good option to fill that left side of the Bruins’ third defense pairing.