Czech 2005 prospects: Jakub Dusek

By Robert Neuhauser
The Ostrava region was in the Czech Republic always known for producing elite talent.
Some time after
the end of the Czechoslovakian First League and the start of the Czech Extraleague two
more franchises began to reside there, upgrading the number at three overall. Those teams
of course produce lots of quality prospects, but it is the HC Sareza Ostrava team who emerged
as a new prospect hotbed recently with a strong core of elite 1987 born players. Right
winger Jakub Dusek has the tools to be the best.

Jakub Dusek shouldn’t originally become a hockey player if all the genetics came true. His
father Premysl was enjoying a succesfull volleyball career and so Jakub could have a
knowledgeable mentor. One thing was sure, he definitely did inherit a talent for sports
and was a very active kid who didn’t want just to sit around but to join the sports action.
It wasn’t the ball and the high volleyball net which the little Jakub prefered. Once his
father took him skating and from now on Jakub had clear in what sport he wants to do.
Skating was so funny for him that it was hockey and nothing else. His father left this
decision up to him and when Jakub told him that his wish is to play the most popular sport,
hockey, he agreed and began to lead him to local Ostrava arena for the first hockey practices
of his career.

That happened when Jakub was only four years old and he didn’t join the mighty Ostrava-based
Extraleague franchise Vitkovice, but the much lesser known Sareza Ostrava team. His uncle,
Ronald Dusek, was an atom coach there and he convinced Jakub to play for Sareza. The most
talented kids often play in the developmental system of Extraleague teams, but in a region
such as Ostrava, where hockey is by far the most popular sport, couldn’t every kid play
for Vitkovice and in Sareza he could also benefit from an experienced coaching staff.
Sareza Ostrava 1st grade head coach Duhan could see after the first practices that Jakub
will really be something special. The slick-skating kid could outplay his opponents quite
effortlessly and learned all the hockey basics in rapid time. The talent was undoubtedly
here, now it was up to the coaches to give him the needed tips to make from a talented
novice-aged kid a potential star.

In the youngest grades Jakub could easily benefit from his strong skating and agility
and thanks to his drills he also drastically upgraded his puckhandling skills, so the goals
and points came in lots. When Jakub entered the Ostrava 3rd grade team, his uncle Ronald
became his head coach. At that time Jakub already had at his home various trophies for the
Best goalscorer or Best forward from the many youth tournaments. Coach Dusek informed him
how the team play is important in today’s hockey and the same is strength. Jakub had the
sniper’s skills and needed to put another pieces to the puzzle called an all-round forward.
So he started to do various off-ice workouts to upgrade his strength and stamina. He was
a leader of his team and earned lots of ice time, so excellent conditioning was a must for him.
Still, once on a scoring chance, Jakub made use of his instincts and scored plenty of goals.
It was clear that he develops into a coveted scorer and ideas of a defenseman or defensive
forward, if there were any, could be forgotten.

When Jakub was performing for the 7th grade, he battled his first health problems, he felt
pain in his back and had trouble with his collarbone,
but the doctors cured it soon and it didn’t affect Jakub’s season a lot.
He was considered as the offensive star of his team and even of the best 1987 born forwards
in the whole Czech Republic. He also calls “Russian rocket” Pavel Bure of the New York
Rangers his hockey role model, for Bure’s blazing speed and skill.

So when the coaches were putting together the squad which should represent under the label
of the Chomutov team the Czech Republic at the famous International Pee-Wee Tournament in
Quebec City in January 2001, they had Jakub Dusek as a lock to make the team where all the
best Czech 1987 players gathered. Besides Dusek there also performed the likes of defensemen
Jakub Kindl, Jakub Vojta or Michael Kolarz and forwards Marek Knebl or Ondrej Fiala, all
of whom already enjoy a succesfull international career for the Czech junior national teams.
The Czechs left a huge impression there, even if they recorded a semifinal exit with the
eventual winner of the tournament. Jakub Dusek was skating on a line with Knebl and Fiala
and found the net two times.

In 2000-2001 Jakub, nicknamed “Dusan” (another Czech male name)
also changed his team for a while. He was a core player of the Sareza
Ostrava 8th grade team, but was loaned to Vitkovice for a half of the season. There he
could see what it takes to play in the system of an Extraleague team and thanks to his skill
he turned out to be a wellcomed boost to the Vitkovice lineup. But at the end of the season
he returned to his parent Sareza team, where midget head coach Karel Betelka counted on
him as an underage help for the midget team in 2001-2002.

Coach Betelka realised that for Dusek it would make only a little sense to leave him to perform
for the 9th grade team where his points would come too easy. So he placed the 14-year old
underaged kid into the regular forward rotation and showed him how to battle the physically
more mature opponents in the midget Extraleague. He had only little trouble with adjusting
and found his scoring pace soon as he made use from all the tips given to him. He relied on
his smooth puckhandling more than on his physical play and could post whooping numbers for
an underaged rookie on an average team with 33 points for 17 goals and 16 assists in just 48
games. The number of PIMs, 6, is very modest, but it only contributes to the face that Jakub
took advantage of his finesse skill.

No wonder that after a stellar performance at the selection camp for the new Czech Under-16
team of the 1987 borns, played in Pisek this April, Jakub was selected to the team. And
in the third week of August, Jakub wore the Czech junior national team jersey for the first
time as the Under-16 team’s schedule opened with a three-game series against the young Slovaks.
For the three games, played in Humenne, Slovakia, Jakub didn’t have regular linemates, but
still recorded 2 points for 2 goals.

This season Jakub is relied upon heavily as one of the key players of his Sareza Ostrava
midget team. He plays on a line with fellow Under-16 team players Vladimir Svacina and Petr
Kalus and is ready to prove that he will be ready for a duty in the junior team coming next
season. He didn’t think too much about coming over to play in the CHL in 2004 yet, but
this is a possibility for him.

Jakub Dusek’s biggest asset is his superior skating ability and speed, which he uses to
irritate the opposing defensemen. Jakub is well-balanced and has a very good agility. He
handles the puck very well with his soft hands and takes advantage of his sharp offensive
instincts to create offense. Dusek has a bright vision and a solid hockey sense and can be
lethal around the net. He has a great accurate wrist shot, on the other side his slap shot
is still only average and needs improving. Jakub is capable of very smart passes, but once
on a scoring chance he prefers shooting to passing. His defensive side isn’t fully
developed yet and Jakub needs to take some strides here to round out his game more. He is
willing to fight for the pucks in the corners, but still can’t be considered as tough.
An offensive gem, Jakub Dusek has the tools to develop into an elite sniper and will most
likely be a highly touted 2005 prospect.

Even if in hockey he already plays his second season among the midgets, in school he still
attends the 9th grade of an elementary school in Ostrava. This takes him quite a lot of time,
so besdies school and hockey practices and games Jakub is like all the other players mostly
resting and relaxing. His favorite activity here is playing videogames, Jakub can spent
hours with it. He is also a fan of music, he likes various groups and singers, but generally
he prefers rock and disco.
When he isn’t playing hockey, then he plays mostly soccer with his friends,
soccer is his most favorite sports next to hockey. Sport makes hungry and Jakub is most
happy with food with vegetable sauce, called “svickova” in the Czech Republic,
for his dinner, to drink he prefers ice tea.

The NHL Entry Draft is still far away for Jakub, who isn’t eligible until the 2005 draft.
But he has one team he likes best at this time, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. For one simply
reason, Jakub likes their logo best from all NHL teams. One day he could really wear that
duck on his sweater. Good luck!