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David Jiricek



Skating:

There was a lot of speculation on whether Jiricek has taken a step back in his skating since his knee injury during his draft year. I still believe he is an above average transition player due to his smooth, strong stride but has really struggled on his pivots and backwards skating mechanics. During my viewings, Jiricek was often off balance and would have most of his weight over his front knee, allowing players to cut towards the middle with ease. Jiricek struggled with pivots and was often caught on mundane dump ins.


Passing/Handling:

His passing is still an above average tool for Jiricek, especially in the offensive zone and in his transition play. His handling is decent when he composes himself but he really needs to work on his retrieval skills along the wall, especially on his backhand.


Shooting:

Elite tool for Jiricek, both is slapshot and wristshot are outstanding.This tool will make him an eventual threat on the powerplay and it seems to be the part of his game that is the most natural.


IQ (Vision, Anticipation, Panic/Poise):

Jiricek has been a prodcut of terrible decisions this season in regards to his development. His IQ has stayed rather stagnat since his draft year and we saw signs of hesistation at the NHL level, especially defensively (gap control reads are off, pinching at unoppertune times). Hopefully, with a full year of proper development, these habits will improve. Jiricek still has amazing vision but took a step back in his overall decision making. When Jiricek activates, he is a machine and applies a tremedous amount of pressure in the offensive zone. He is always a threat once he crosses to red line and especially when he can get settled in the offensive zone in general.


Forechecking:

None


Defense:

As mentioned above, Jiricek struggled on the defensive part of his game. His gap control and decision making in the defensive zone were suspect at best, which led to an increase in panic plays and a lot of chipping off the glass. One of his best tools is the ability to skate the puck out of trouble, so hopefully he can gain back his confidence soon. Pivots need to be worked on as his lack of balance put him out of position or forced him to be 2nd on the puck in most puck battles.


Best Asset:

Shot


Biggest Concern:

Gap Control + backwards skating mechanics (pivoting, balance etc)


Top Tier/Role Potential:

Top-4 defenseman with powerplay upside (big BASH numbers)


Justification for Top Tier Assessment:

A combination of his shot, vision, anticipation and physicality will make him a BASH monster if he can develop correctly.


50th Percentile Tier/Role:

Bottom 4 pairing with powerplay upside


Justification for 50th Percentile Tier Assessment:

There is a real concern in regards to his overall play defensively, hesistating to close his gaps and often pinching at the wrong time. His skating in the defensive zone needs to be tuned as he will put himself out of position or be late to the puck on dump ins.


Stylistic Comparable:

Roman Hamrlik


Scouts Final Thoughts and Additional Stats/Info:

Still beleive in Jiricek overall but the decisions made by Columbus this year did not help his development at all. Some would say it was a wasted year.


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