by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of sportky.zoznam.sk.
The 2024 NHL Draft will be here before you know it, and Draft 412 will preview some of the prospects who will be probable first round picks. Draft 412 will review the strengths and weaknesses of each prospect, and where they should land in the NHL Draft.
Name- Adam Jiricek
Team- HC Plzen/Czechia
HT/WT- 6’2” 176 lbs.
Home – Plzen, Czech Republic
Jiricek has not played as much hockey as some of the other top prospects. Between 2022-2023 and this season, he has played in only 31 games for HC Plzen. His big moment came in the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, scoring 3 points in 5 games and his overall play was highlighted as one of the best on the team. He was a part of the 2024 bronze medal winning Czechia in the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, however, he was injured in the opening match against Team Slovakia and underwent knee surgery.
Adam Jiricek is the younger brother of David Jiricek, who was selected no. 6 overall by Columbus in the 2022 NHL Draft.
Jiricek is an exceptional skater with the ability to change direction on a dime. He covers a lot of ice with quick strides and edge work, and always seems to be skating with momentum when he transfers his skating to physicality. From shift to shift, he is a physical defender on the back end and does not shy away from confrontation. He has the frame to add substantial weight and this will only add to his physical presence. He is efficient at using his body to separate the opponent from the puck and tying them up against the boards.
In terms of offensive prowess, Jiricek has a good shooting technique and makes it a habit of getting his shots on the net from the point. He understands angles and does a fine job of moving to open up lanes. In transition, he regularly hits teammates in stride with outlet passes, getting the offense in motion. His style of play works well on the shorthanded side and he will benefit special teams at the next level.
On the downside, Jiricek still plays with a lot of hesitation to his game, and he does not perform as well when he has time. There are moments in the game when he overthinks the situation and misses opportunities with his second guessing. He plays like he is afraid to make mistakes and will need to improve his anticipation and learn to trust his instincts more. He flashes skills one minute but is still very raw and inconsistent and needs to learn to play shift to shift with the same tenacity. His play can be overly conservative and he looks to reverse the puck almost automatically, instead of using his vision to move the puck north and south to forwards.
Draft Nation knows that Adam Jiricek is raw, but believes he could possibly have the superstar ceiling of a Moritz Seider. Seider was the 6th overall pick of the Detroit Red Wings in the 2019 NHL Draft and has continually improved and gotten bigger during his 3 NHL seasons. Seider is a shade bigger than Jiricek, but both share the same physical style of play in the defensive end. Both are right-handed shots that are capable two-way players.
Adam Jiricek is very raw, but his skating ability and physicality as a 17-year-old makes him a highly intriguing prospect. As long as he continues to improve and play with more confidence, the sky's the limit for him.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - Round 1