Vladimir Sobotka registered a steady rise during 2003-04 and played also his first game at the elite senior level. During 2004-05 he found himself a regular spot on Slavia Praha’s Extraleague roster, playing mostly on the fourth line. He was not afraid to fight for the puck in the corner or near the boards. He gained a lot of experience both on the ice and off the ice while in the locker room he met with Zigmund Palffy, Jozef Stumpel, Jaroslav Spacek and Josef Vasicek.
At the U-18 WC Sobotka didn’t fulfill the expectations, as a center of the first line he was only average compared to his performance in Slavia. After long season when he was playing for men and for juniors he seemed not to be able to find the right poise at the WJC.
2005-06: Sobotka spent his first full season in the Czech Extralia with HC Slavia Praha. He also represented the Czech Republic in the WJC, collecting a total of four points (2 goals, 2 assists) and 33 penalty minutes in six games.
2006-07: Building upon the previous season with Slavia, Sobotka played a 33 game stretch in the Extraliga and went on to have a strong showing for the Czech team in the World Junior Championships. He suffered a shoulder injury shortly after that kept him out for the remainder of the season.
Sobotka was signed to an entry-level contract in May of 2007
2007-08: Sobotka played his rookie pro season in North America. Despite a language barrier, he had a strong start with the Providence Bruins (AHL), earning him a recall to Boston mid-season. He remained in the NHL for the rest of the season, mostly centering the fourth line.
Vladimir Sobotka is on the small side, but plays much bigger than his size and isn't afraid of taking a hit to make a play. He drives hard to the net and will dig for the pucks in corners. He possesses soft hands and emerges as a smooth puck carrier. Sobotka is solid in the faceoff circle and gets the job done on both power play and penalty-killing units. He isn't afraid of playing in heavy traffic and shows remarkable poise once on a scoring chance. Sobotka possesses a heavy slap shot, which he unleashes regularly. A tenacious forechecker, he has good vision and hockey sense in his play which make him a good playmaker and smart passer.
Sobotka is very skilled, he is not afraid of the rough stuff but a player of his size needs to be visible every shift and work much harder than other players. On the downside, Sobotka could use more speed, he sometimes misses that extra gear. His stride needs some polishing in effectiveness and better acceleration.
Sobotka possesses neither size nor elite skill, but he plays a strong all-around game, with an abrasive style and will be a player to watch as he begins the next phase of his career in North America.