As the Rangers have shown recently, there is no dislike of taking players from Eastern Europe. Whether that is Czechia like in the case of Filip Chytil, Bulgaria like Alexandar Georgiev, or Slovakia for Adam Sykora, it has been a part of the world the Rangers have enjoyed recently. Perhaps going back to Slovakia and picking up one of Sykora’s fellow countrymen is the route to go like with Samuel Honzek.
Honzek had his first season in Canadian Juniors last year with the Vancouver Giants in the WHL where he collected 23 goals and 33 assists for 56 points in just 43 games. There is no denying that this is a player who came across the different-sized ice surfaces in North America and continued to find success. While that success was admittedly in a junior league, it is still impressive.
Although the Slovakian Centerman’s size is one of his stronger attributes at 6’4, 185 lbs, this is a player that seems to have all the tools. That long reach he has because of his enormous frame is useful, but there is more to him. His shot is one of his best qualities. He’s got a quick release and for a man his size to be able to get the puck away quickly is a big thing. If he bulks out and learns to fire the puck while leaning on someone, he’s got great potential.
This is another player that seems to divide opinions. Sportsnet has him at 13, the highest I’ve seen. TSN had him at 19th and 22nd overall. There are other people that are not sure of his status as a first-rounder. I’ve seen some mock drafts have him in the late second and even third rounds, and while I think that is unrealistic, this is a player that should be on the board around the time the Rangers are up to pick in Nashville.