2010-11: Vaclav Karabacek skated for the HC Letnany U16 team in his native Czech Republic. In 22 games he scored 18 goals with 12 assists and was +2 with 8 penalty minutes.
2011-12: Karabacek played for HC Letany’s U18 and U16 teams and competed internationally for the Czech Republic’s national U16 team. He scored 15 goals with 14 assists and was +8 with 18 penalty minutes in 25 games for HC Letany’s U18 team. Karabacek scored 61 goals with 43 assists and was +67 with 70 penalty minutes in 32 U18 games. He scored 3 goals with 1 assist and was -1 in ten games for the Czech U16 team.
2012-13: Karabacek moved to Austria to play junior hockey for EC Salzburg in the Red Bull Rookie Cup; skating for the club’s U20 and U18 teams. He scored 2 goals with 1 assist and had 2 penalty minutes in five games with the U20 squad. Karabacek scored 26 goals with 19 assists and had 55 penalty minutes in 21 games for EC Salzburg’s U18 team. He skated in 19 games for the Czech Republic at the U18 and U17 levels — scoring 5 goals with 7 assists and finishing +1 with 30 penalty minutes — but did not skate in the U18 World Junior Championship. Karabacek was selected by Medvescak-Zagreb in the first round (36th overall) of the 2013 KHL Draft and was taken by Gatineau in the first round (18th overall) of the 2013 CHL Import Draft.
2013-14: Karabacek competed for the Czech Republic’s U18 team in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August before heading to North America for his first QMJHL season in Gatineau. He fit in well with the high scoring Olympiques – tallying 18 goals with 17 assists in his first 46 games — and was +3 with with 26 penalty minutes. Karabacek was ranked 35th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings prior to the 2014 NHL Draft.
A pure goal-scorer, Karabacek excels at finding the open spots in the offensive zone and bulging the twine. Though not a dynamic skater, he uses his frame well to protect the puck and get into position to make a play. Still needing to round out his game, especially in his own end, Karabacek has improved by leaps and bounds over the course of his first season in North America.