Next up on draft watch is the 18-year-old from Opava, Czech Republic and the Kitchener Rangers, Radek Faksa. He is 6’3″ and 202 lbs. He was born on January 9, 1994 and is a left-handed center. He is rated as the seventh best North American skater and the fourth best North American forward. This past season with Kitchener was his first season in North America and scouts were very impressed with how easy he made the transition look. Scouts loved the way he would willingly play a physical and aggressive type of hockey.
He bangs bodies like a North American skater, but still displays his European skill. He did show a lack of discipline early, but he got better with that as the season went along. His size and strength made him a very good player down low and along the boards. He is a lot like Czech legend Jaromir Jagr, who is every young hockey player in Czech Republic’s hero, but is compared to Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes. Wins a lot of puck battles because he uses his size and strength to shield the puck, then he makes crisp, accurate passes. His skating strides are fast and very strong. He may be one of the most NHL ready prospects in this draft. But, like all prospects, theres always room for improvement. Being a center, he will need to make sure he can win as many face offs as possible.
Last season with the Kitchener Rangers, playing with Ducks’ goaltending prospect John Gibson, Faksa registered 29 goals and 37 assists for 66 points in 62 games. Like I said before, that was his first season in North America. Previously, Faksa played for HC Trinec in the Czech junior leagues. In his entire junior career in the Czech Republic, he averaged over a point per game. Like all Czechs, Faksa will be a very dependable two-way forward when he fully develops. He will be a top-six forward that may not become a superstar you build a team around, but he will at least become a very good second piece to any hockey team. I would like to see the Ducks draft him because they could use another big center. It’s obvious Saku Koivu is on his way out, probably after this upcoming season. With Getzlaf already accomplished and Peter Holland “waiting in the wings,” Faksa would help give the Ducks potentially very good depth at center. I would not be the least bit surprised if the Ducks picked him up at #6.
Here are a couple of videos on Radek:
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