Photo Credit: NHL.com


The 2nd ranked European goaltender in the NHL Central Scouting rankings, Jakub Skarek, lands in our 84th slot for the upcoming draft class.

Skarek had a disastrous World Juniors for the Czech Republic but held his own in the Extraliga for the entire season. He has the raw talent, size, and reflexes to be in consideration for the first goaltender taken this year.


  • Age/Birthdate: / November 10, 1999
  • Birthplace: Jihlava, CZE
  • Frame:6-foot-3/ 196 lbs
  • Position: Goalie
  • Handedness: Left
  • Draft Year Team: HC Dukla Jihlava(Czech)
  • Accomplishments/Awards:
  • 2015-2016
    • Czech2 Champion
  • 2016-2017
    • Czech2 Most Wins (21)
    • Czech2 to Czech Promotion (HC Dukla Jihlava)
    • Hlinka Memorial Gold Medal



Our Take

Greg Balloch with InGoal Magazine has a great read on Jakub Skarek and Luca Dostal here.

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The two Czech goaltenders were ranked 1 and 2 in the final NHL CSS rankings and either one could be selected first. Skarek played really well at the Ivan Hlinka tournament to start the year, posting a 0.930 SV% in four games, and then really struggled at the World Juniors. He played very well in the 21 games with HC Dukla and in the second division.

Skarek is bigger of the two Czech goalies and as Greg mentions, he uses his size to his advantage to ensure that he is more conservative in the net and not allowing himself to get into positions where he is scrambling to recover. But he does recognize when he can attack a shooter on a breakaway or odd man chance.

He does a good job of looking above and around traffic to locate the puck. It’s easy to say he is ‘technical’ and uses his athleticism to his advantages and that requires a little further explanation.  For the most part, Skarek is very controlled and tight with his butterfly and is adept at using his push offs to adjust his angle. He does a good job to keep his glove over his pad and eliminate the gap there.

As always, goalies are hard to predict and to properly evaluate at the junior level. There are huge swings in performance and can be swayed by small sample sizes on a larger stage. Skarek was consistent throughout the year in the Czech Republic and will head to the Liiga in Finland next year, where in my opinion he will do quite well. He has shown a track record of excelling over the last few years and thus had heightened expectations, that left people thinking he didn’t live up to them.

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We’ll see him be one of the goalies taken in that first cluster of goaltenders taken and the drafting team should be excited about his potential as a netminder.

Further Reading

Consolidated Average Future Considerations Hockey Prospect.com ISS Hockey McKeen’s The Athletic TSN Bob McKenzie TSN Craig Button The Hockey News Sportsnet ESPN Dobber Prospects
91 83.6 95 $$ 49 106

From Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst on Dobber Prospects:

Nightmarish world juniors notwithstanding, Skarek remains the draft’s top goalie prospect. Blessed with size, cat-like quickness and a superior radar for puck movement, Skarek has held his own as a teenager in the Czech Republic’s premier league. He’s a classic butterfly goalie who handles the puck well and quickly challenges shooters above the crease. One thing that has impressed me is his glove-hand positioning in either the V/H (Vertical/ Horizontal) or RVH (Reverse Vertical/Horizontal) — Skarek keeps the glove directly above his pad to cover the upper half of the short side.

CanucksArmy’s 2018 NHL Draft Rankings

#85 Ty Emberson
#86 Jay O’Brien #87 Carl Wassenius #88 Vladislav Kotkov
#89 Emil Westerlund #90 Jerry Turkulainen #91 Stanislav Demin
#92 Tyler Madden #93 Jan Jenik #94 G Olivier Rodrigue
#95 Xavier Bernard #96 Kristian Tanus #97 Lukas Wernblom
#98 Nando Eggenberger #99 Matthew Struthers #100 Shawn Bourdias


  • TD

    I don’t think the Canucks should overlook a goalie if they really like the prospect, but I think they should target a goalie prospect every 2-3 drafts. Ideally they would have a veteran mentor like Bachman with a prospect with the Comets. I would pay the vet well to do the job as good goaltending is important to the team’s success and has an impact on all the forward and d prospects. For that reason, I don’t think 2 prospects in Utica at the same time makes sense. Spread them out by a couple years so you know how the older prospect is developing before the next one arrives in Utica.