2008-09: Jakub Culek skated for HC Plzen’s U18 and U20 teams in his native Czech Republic and also played for the national team in the 2009 U18 World Junior Championship. He scored 3 goals with 3 assists and had 10 PMs in 12 games for HC Plzen U20 and added three goals in five playoff games. In 29 games with HC Plzen U18 he scored 15 goals with 16 assists while receiving 98 PMs. Culek had 1 assist with 4 PMs in six games for the Czech U18 team. He was chosen by Rimouski Oceanic in the first round (37th overall) of the 2009 CHL Import Draft.
2009-10: In his QMJHL rookie season, Culek appeared in 63 games for the Oceanic. He scored 13 goals and added 34 assists for 47 points while compiling 54 PMs. In 12 playoff games, Culek scored 6 goals and chipped in 3 assists for 9 points. He played for Team Cherry at the 2010 CHL Top Prospects Game. Culek was ranked 52nd amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings and selected by Ottawa in the third round (76th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft.
2010-11: Neither Culek nor Rimouski had the type of season they would have liked. To his credit, despite his lack of offensive production, he was one of the better two-way players for the Oceanic. His +2 plus/minus was actually tied for second-best on a team that was below .500 and allowed more goals than it scored. In 55 games for Rimouski he scored 7 goals with 5 assists and had 37 PMs. In six games for the seventh-place Czech Republic at the 2011 U20 World Junior Championship he was -1 with 1 goal and 1 assist.
2011-12: Culek seemed to find his niche as a two-way winger for Rimouski in his third QMJHL season. Culek scored 13 goals with 27 assists and was plus-three with 58 penalty minutes in 55 games for the Oceanic. He was especially effective in the playoffs as Rimouski, which finished fourth in the East Division, advanced to the finals against power house Saint John. Culek scored 4 goals with 7 assists and was plus-two with 28 penalty minutes in 21 playoff games. He represented the Czech Republic in the World Junior Championship for the second time and in five games was plus-two with 1 goal and 3 assists. Culek signed a three-year entry-level contract with Ottawa in May, 2012.
2012-13: Culek made his pro hockey debut, skating in three games with Ottawa’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton in April after missing most of the year with an “upper body injury”. He had no points and was an even plus/minus with 10 penalty minutes in his time with Binghamton. The Senators were second in the East Division and had the AHL’s fourth-best record before being swept by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in a first round series. Culek did not appear in any playoff games. Culek opened the season in the QMJHL after attending Binghamton’s training camp but was not able to play for Rimouski due to the limit on overage players. He finally got on the ice in November after a trade to Cape Breton. He scored 4 goals with 3 assists in nine games and was -2 with 5 penalty minutes before suffering his injury.
A playmaker, Culek worked well alongside of the quicker Straka by constantly hitting him with passes that would eventually find themselves in the back of the net. Although he has imposing size and a solid skill set, Culek remains a work in progress in the offensive zone. As he gets stronger and more comfortable with the physical game, he'll be able to assert himself on the ice more to make room both for himself and his teammates. Already a dependable player at both ends of the ice, Culek could be one of the more intriguing players to come out of the QMJHL in 2010. If he can improve his skating and combine his natural physical tools with his hockey talent, he has all the makings of a solid prospect.