Kai Hospelt

Hometown:

Cologne Germany

Currently Playing In:

Europe

Birthday:

1985-08-23

Position:

RW

Eligible for draft:

2003

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

Height:

6-1

Acquired:

7th round, 216th pick overall, 2003 NHL Entry Draft

Weight:

187 lbs.

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History

Arrived on the scene in 2000-01 with the Cologne Junior Sharks in the new German Nachwuchsliga (German Junior League) scoring 25 goals and 18 assists in 35 games as a 15-year-old.

The 2001-02 season saw Hospelt tie for the DNL scoring title, second in goals and 4th in assists while also receiving a cup of coffee with the Cologne Sharks’ DEL team, as well as representing Germany at the U-18’s, where Germany was relegated despite a ninth place finish as the IIHF re-organized the structure of its entire tournament hierarchy.

Hospelt’s career continued forward in 2002-03 with 21 games at the DEL level, as well as taking the DNL scoring championship despite missing games, including playing for Germany at the WJC’s and the U-18’s for a second time. In Halifax, Hospelt played on the third line and was asked to play into Germany’s defensive systems, a new experience for the Cologne native. However, at the DI Group A U-18’s, Hospelt’s seven goals in five games led the tournament and his 10 points placed the German second in tournament scoring behind Dane Martin Nielsen. Hospelt’s 56% faceoff average placed him eighth in the tournament, while his 102 total faceoffs was good for fifth.

Hospelt was drafted byt he San Jose Sharks in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft in the seventh round with the 216th pick overall.

 

Talent Analysis
A strong skater with good speed, Hospelt uses his superior stickhandling skills and quick release to score goals at the U-18 ranks in Germany and on the international scene for Team Germany. Hospelt also has a good work ethic and has shown a willingness to diversify his game and play defensively.

Still learning to use size effectively and will need to put on some extra muscle, which might help add some power to Hospelt's shot.

Future
Hospelt should play full-time in the DEL for Cologne in 2003-04, after splitting time between Cologne's DEL team and its junior team in the DNL as well as represent Team Germany at the DI WJC's as Germany hopes to be promoted to the top division once again after losing to Denmark in 2003.

Long-term, Hospelt is one of Germany's top young scorers, combining some size, speed, hands, and a developing overall hockey sense. Hospelt should develop into one of Germany's top forwards, which should translate to further interest from San Jose. At this time Hospelt is still a longshot to make the NHL, as he has much to prove in the DEL because he has failed to garner significant ice-time in the DEL, albeit on a strong Cologne Sharks DEL team.