Vitek Vanecek
Image: HC Benatky

Vitek Vanecek

Hometown:

Havlickuv Brod Czech Republic

Currently Playing In:

Europe

Birthday:

1996-01-09

Position:

G

Eligible for draft:

2014

Catches:

Left

Drafted:

2014

Height:

6-1

Acquired:

2nd round (39th overall), 2014

Weight:

181 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • D

History

2010-11: Vitek Vanecek played for the HC Havlickuv Brod club in his hometown — appearing in one game with the club’s U18 team — and playing 12 games for the U18 squad. He was 0-1, stopping 24 of 30 shots, in his only U18 game. Vanecek was 1-6 for HC Havlickuv’s U16 team with a 4.35 goals against and .874 save percentage.

2011-12: Vanecek played seven games for the HC Havlickuv U18 team and became the starter for the club’s U16 team. He was 3-4 with a 4.09 goals against and .915 save percentage in U18 play. Vanecek was 8-19 with one shutout in 27 games and had a 3.49 goals against and .899 save percentage with HC Havlickuv’s U16 squad.

2012-13: Vanecek made his debut at the U20 level — playing two games in the second division with HC Havlickuv Brod — and represented the Czech Republic in international play with the U17 squad. He had a 2.00 goals against in U20 play. Vanecek was 2-6 with a 4.59 goals against and .853 save percentage in eight games for the Czech U17 team. Vanecek was a bright spot in an otherwise dreadful season for HC Havlickuv’s last-place U18 team. In 31 games he was 2-29, posting a respectable 3.33 goals against and .924 save percentage. In five relegation playoff games he was 2-3 with a 2.53 goals against and .938 save percentage.

2013-14: Vanecek went from HC Havlickuv Brod to Bili Tygri Liberec in the top division after playing for the Czech Republic’s U18 team in the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August. He also played for the Czech Republic at the 2013 World Junior A Challenge in Canada and at the 2014 U18 World Junior Championship. Vanecek was 2-1 with a 2.31 goals against and .905 save percentage at the Ivan Hlinka tournament and had a 4.50 goals against and .862 save percentage in two games with the Czech U19 team at the WJAC. Vanecek played all seven games for the silver medal-winning U18 squad at the WJC and was 5-2 with both losses coming against the USA, including a 5-2 loss in the gold medal game. For the tournament he posted a 2.74 goals against and .897 save percentage. Vanecek was ranked eighth amongst International goaltenders in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Washington in the second round (39th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Talent Analysis

Standing at 6’1, Vanecek has decent size, though not that of your prototypical NHL netminder. He more than makes up for it without standing lateral quickness and agility as well as a spectacular glove hand that can get him onto any highlight reel at a moment’s notice. Consistency is still an issue with Vanecek; he excelled in the Czech league but struggled both in the playoffs and for the Czech U20 team, as well as a porous showing during the World Junior Championships.

Future
Vanecek will make his North American debut with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL for the 2015-16 season. He will not only get used to facing North American skaters, but work on things like perfecting his angles and learning shooter tendencies. If he develops quickly enough, he could see work with Hershey of the AHL by 2016-17 and could threaten for a spot on the Capitals a year or two after that. The road to the NHL is not a short one for Vanecek, but the Capitals are more than willing to be patient with him.

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