On most prospect rankings, Filip Chlapik isn’t even the top draft-eligible on his own team, but he is one of two Charlottetown Islanders – the other being Daniel Sprong – who could be selected in the first round.
Hailing from the Czech Republic, Chlapik has just finished his first season on this side of the pond, and his production was impressive. He might be a slightly off-the-board pick for the Leafs at 24th, but as a highly-skilled 6’1 center he should have at least caught their attention.
First off, Chlapik’s pre-draft rankings. You can see why he’d be considered a little bit of a question mark at 24.
From the always useful CHLStats, Chlapik produced at a rate good for eighth among draft-eligibles in the QMJHL this past season. That doesn’t seem all that mindblowing but keep in mind the first round in the NHL draft is projected to be a bit Q-heavy.
Here’s a look at Chlapik among the draft-eligibles ahead of him in the QMJHL by points-per-game.
As mentioned, Chlapik isn’t the most impressive scorer in terms of output but he does hold a better share of his team’s production than some others on the list. And he looks to be about middle-of-the-pack in terms of shooting rate.
The Eye Test
Here’s a quick rundown from Future Considerations’ Draft Guide on Chlapik:
Skilled, playmaking centerman who can play a effective two-way game…smooth skater
with a fast, long and controlled stride. He also has good lateral agility, showing off his very
elusive footwork and ability to shake defenders…. very cerebral skater and slows the game
down when he has the puck…plays a big game and protects
the puck exceptionally well.
The first thing I noticed when watching some video on Chlapik is that shifty footwork, and he actually moves around a lot like Nicklas Backstrom with the puck, to toss an NHL comparable out there.
I’ve heard some scouts praise his defensive game, and while it’s certainly fine, I don’t give him as high a grade there yet. His skating is a hole right now. His speed is roughly average and his stride is a little awkward in terms of his push-offs.
Does he make the Leafs’ shortlist?
I don’t think he will, but his production and a game built on high-end skill would certainly make him the type of player I’d be happy with the Leafs taking a chance on. Chlapik is on the younger end of his draft year as well, and given he’s only just got his first North American season under his belt, next season will be an interesting one in Charlottetown in seeing if he can take another step forward points-wise.