2009 prospects: Adam Polasek

By Holly Gunning

Listed at 6’1, 180 pounds, Adam Polasek looks bigger both on and off the ice. The Czech has a hard-hitting, and effective, approach to defense. But his skill should not be overlooked. He skates well, has a hard and accurate slapshot, and makes good reads.

At the recent U18 World Championships in Fargo/Moorhead, Polasek played on the top unit and on both special teams. He finished the tournament second on his team in scoring with five points in six games, and was the only Czech player on the plus side, at +1. Despite logging a lot of minutes, his play did not fall off as the tournament went on.

In the 2008-09 regular season, Polasek had 20 points in 38 games for Vitkovice Ostrava in the Czech junior league.

Polasek is young for the 2009 draft class, not turning 18 until July 12. And the U18s have helped Polasek’s stock. ISS has ranked Polasek 120th on their April (post-tournament) list, and cited him as a riser.

"[Polasek] likes to rush the puck and has good hands that allow him to make good space for himself," ISS wrote. "He is able to block lanes well in his own end, but can get a little too focused on the puck at times. He logged a ton of minutes for the Czechs, especially in the late minutes of games, and was often matched up against other countries’ top players."

Central Scouting has Polasek at 52nd on the European skaters final list (finished before the tournament).

Hockey’s Future spoke to Polasek after a round-robin game at the U18s, his first time in the United States. Teammate Robin Soudek of the Edmonton Oil Kings translated.

HF: How do you like playing on the smaller ice as a defenseman?

AP: It isn’t so hard, but in the defensive zone you don’t have much time to make a good pass. In the offensive zone you have more time than in Europe. So it’s not bad.

HF: Do you consider yourself more of an offensive defenseman or defensive defenseman?
AP: In Czech, I’m an offensive defenseman, but here at the tournament I have to play more defensively.

HF: Why do you have to be more defensive, is it what your coach wants?

AP: The opponents are better, so the coach tells us to play more defensively.

HF: But you scored a goal today.

AP: The goal I scored I shot from the blue line so it wasn’t from an odd-man rush or anything like that. It was a defensive goal, so it’s OK.

HF: If you make it to the NHL, do you think you will be more offensive or defensive?
AP: (laughs) If I would make it, I would see what the team wants and play my best.

HF: You laughed, do you think it’s crazy that you’d make it?
AP: It’s a small chance. We’ll see what happens.

HF: But there’s lots of scouts here today and you played well.
AP: Thanks. I hope someone saw me and will take me in the draft.

HF: Do you consider your slap shot one of your best assets?
AP: It’s a plus, but I don’t have so much time here, so if I can, I shoot.

HF: You also play physically, is that one of your best assets too?
AP: I like to be physical and it’s no problem for me. I try to make a hit at all times on the ice. I like that.

HF: What do you still need to work on in your game to get better?

AP: I have to play quicker, like making passes. Work on everything — skating, shooting, playing physical. I’m only starting my career.

HF: Your partner in the tournament is Jakub Jerabek, how do you like playing with him?

AP: I’ve played with him for a long time on the national team so I know where he is on the ice, and I like that.

HF: Have you talked to any NHL scouts this year?

AP: I haven’t talked to anyone personally, but some have sent messages to my agent (Newport).

HF: Next year do you want to stay in the Czech Republic or try the CHL?
AP: I want to try the CHL.

HF: Have you talked to any CHL teams?

AP: Yes, but I can’t remember which teams.

HF: Have you had any major injuries in your career?
AP: I had an operation on my left shoulder two years ago. I couldn’t play for three months. That’s the only one.