Checking in as our 93rd prospect in the upcoming NHL Entry draft is the playmaking Czech centre, Jan Jenik.
As is the case with many young players in the Czech Republic, Jenik jumped between a couple professional and junior leagues throughout the season as he was given a chance at the various levels. He was really strong at the J20 level, held his own in the second division and got a taste of the top league with Bili Tygiri Liberec.
Jenik also played well at the Ivan Hlinka and U18 tournaments for the Czech Republic as they continue to make noise at those tournaments.
We don’t have a lot of data to go off with Jenik, but there is something to like about the crafty forward.
- Age/Birthdate: 17.00 / September 15, 2000
- Birthplace: Nymburk, CZE
- Frame:6-foot-1/ 165 lbs
- Draft Year Team: HC Betatky nad Jizerou(Czech2)
- Hlinka Memorial Silver Medal
- U18 WJC Top 3 Player on Team
5v5 Pr INV%
Since Jenik spent the majority of his season in the second division, it can be hard to get a proper read on his skill level but the six-game sample size in ExtraLiga allows a small window into his pGPS.
Sample size and context are key – six games, zero points and his matches are players who posted at least a point. The takeaway is that even appearing in a handful of games at such a young age is always a good sign and is even better as he could not be any younger for this draft class. Born on September 15th, 2000, Jenik was born on the last day of eligibility for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and is a full 364 days younger than Brady Tkachuk.
All of those things are feathers in the cap for Jenik and part of the evaluation process when looking at him as a prospect.
Jenik is primarily known for his playmaking abilities but isn’t afraid to shoot, averaging a shade under two shots a game with HC Betatky nad Jizerou – his shot isn’t heavy but he does have a quick release that he can get off while not firmly squared on the puck. He is crafty with the puck, showing good puck-handling skills and the ability to maintain possession with slick and quick movements. His vision and ability to thread a pass is his calling card and something that stands out about his game.
The Nymburk native doesn’t play on the edges and is willing to take the puck to the net but ideally, you would like to see him be more willing to take some physical engagement to make a play – he can slip out of the front of the net to avoid being pushed or cross-checked. With that in mind, he is good at going into the soft areas in coverage when mayhem ensues.
— Anton Johansson (@antonj85) August 11, 2017
Jenik does need to work on his two-step quickness and explosiveness in his stride. He has a good overall top speed and is strong on his skates, especially along the boards, but lacks an ability to separate himself when he loses his opponent.
There is a lot to like about Jenik’s offensive game, size, speed and hockey IQ that will undoubtedly mean that he will be selected fairly early on day 2 of the NHL Entry Draft. The fact that he is the youngest player in this draft class and done very well at international tournaments are just other reasons why Jenik has the potential to be a really good selection for whoever does take him. He will likely spend most of next season in the top league in the Czech Republic and play a large role for the Czechs at the World Juniors.
TSN Bob McKenzie
TSN Craig Button
The Hockey News
A two-way winger with size, soft hands and a high compete level? Where do I sign? Jenik was outstanding at the Ivan Hlinka and then carried his strong play well into the first half of the season. Teammate Jakub Lauko may be the fancy, explosive one, but Jenik is the type of kid you want and need on that wall.