Jaroslav Sklenar taken in import draft

By Stephen J. Holodinsky


As has been the trend recently, when it came the Ottawa 67’s turn to take a player in the CHL Import Draft they opted for another selection of the Toronto Maple Leafs in left winger Jaroslav Sklenar from the Brno Jrs of the Czech Republic. Sklenar, when chosen in the 6th round this year, inspired a chorus of ‘who?’ among most draftniks and for good reason. It is next to impossible to find information on any player not in the Czech Extraleague unless, of course, you speak Czech. Your columnist, however, has had the good fortune to correspond with Robert Neuhauser also of Hockey’s Future who has seen the young Czech winger in action on numerous occasions. His scouting report points to speed and the ability to use it coming off the wing to either gain himself or a teammate a scoring chance, by going hard to the net as his big plus. He is accomplished with the puck on his stick and coaches in the Czech ranks have noticed this as he has shot through the system in the last couple years always being the first call-up when injuries or slumps cause problems for the team above his present one. The downside, which is somewhat expected among young players, is his lack of attention to defense, his intensity which can vary from game to game, and his weight. If he were to stop developing as a player today, he might end up being something akin to Petr Klima. However, under Brian Kilrea, many of these shortcomings can be expected to be corrected. And with that in mind look for Jaroslav Sklenar to remind some folks of Geoff Sanderson or Glenn Anderson when he hits his stride professionally.