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Photo Credit: Rich Lam

Snap Shots: Canucks Draft Pick Karel Plášek at the World Junior Championships

With the World Junior Championship beginning in earnest today, I wanted to take this opportunity to break down the four Canucks prospects that will be playing this year. Over the next few days I’ll break down these four players and project what kind of impact they could have on their country’s WJC teams. Obviously, Vasili Podkolzin and Nils Höglander will get most of the limelight over the next week or so, but there are other less heralded prospects who will get the chance to make an impact for their respective home countries, too.

Let’s start with Karel Plasek, or Karel Plášek. I’ll use the easier spelling for this article because it’s really hard to find that dang “š”.

Plasek was selected by the Canucks in the sixth round of the 2019 NHL entry draft. He has some good family genes as his father played over 1000 professional games in the Czech leagues. Papa Plasek just retired from professional hockey this year at the age of 46. Last season he was playing in the Czech third division at the age of 45 where he scored 15 goals in 38 games.

Plasek Jr. or Lil’ Plas as I like to call him, also played in last year’s WJC, registering one assist in five games. Lil’ Plas has been playing in the top Czech league this season and has tallied up two goals and two assists in 22 games for HC Kometa Brno.

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The Czech team is likely not going to make much of a run this tournament. There are too many other countries with much more talented players. Plasek is one of the more skilled players on the Czech roster.

Plasek has mostly been used in a depth role with his team in the Czech league. He does get the chance to take some power play shifts here and there, but nothing close to what he’s likely to see at the WJC.

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The Czech team doesn’t have too many high flying players this year. Plasek is one of the top 10 forwards on the Czech team this time around. He could shock some people and end up on a line with some of the CHL players who played in last year’s tournament and will be asked to have a bigger role this year.

Lil’ Plas is going to be fun to watch, but he is not the blue chip prospect like Podkolzin or Höglander. He’s still got a decent skill set, though. He goes to the net, has pretty good vision, and scores most of his goals from the home plate area. He bears a lot of similarity to fellow Czech native and Canucks prospect Lukas Jasek. Jasek has been a strong but unheralded addition to the team’s prospect depth who’s been able to transition to the North American game  thrive in the roles he has been used in with the Utica Comets.

Not all 6th round picks turn into Brett Hull, but Plasek’s performed well enough overseas to indicate that he could be a player. Let’s keep an eye on Lil’ Plas this tournament and see if he shows some flashes of brilliance.