Photo: 2014 prospect Filip Pyrochta hails from the same Czech hometown as NHL players Patrik Elias and Martin Erat (courtesy of the Liberec White Tigers)
The Czech Republic had one of its least successful drafts this year in New Jersey, but that doesn't mean the next one won't feature any Czech players that could be picked in the early rounds. Swedish-based offensive marvel Jakub Vrána, who will definitely be considered one of the top European skaters, isn't the only one though. Still playing in his homeland and just about to take a leap into the Czech Extraliga is young defenseman Filip Pyrochta.
Photo: Kootenay Ice forward Sam Reinhart is the third of former NHL defenseman Paul Reinhart’s three sons who will be looking to follow in the father’s footsteps to the NHL (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
With the 2013 NHL Draft now passed, the focus can now turn to the class of 2014. Since Beyond Tomorrow looks at those players eligible for the next draft class, this is the last opportunity to discuss the 2014 draft-eligible players before shifting attention to the 2015's. With that in mind, here is a recap of the best of the late-1995 and 1996-born players.
Photo: Czech forward Jakub Vrana currently plays hockey in Sweden, but could receive attention at the 2013 CHL Import Draft (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
Adler, a small, rather nameless coastal resort just south of Sochi that is receiving worldwide attention as one of the hosting places of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, recently was packed with hockey scouts, journalists and the top players born in 1995 or later for the IIHF Under-18 World Championship.
Photo: Defenseman Jan Stencel was one of the top three performers for the Czech Republic at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Lubo Lang/Czech Ice Hockey Association)
When searching the junior ranks for future NHL talent, good defensemen are usually harder to come by than good forwards. The upcoming NHL Draft class of players based in the Czech Republic is, however, an exception to that rule.
Photo: Forward Vladimir Tkachev has been the scoring star so far for Russia at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
The preliminary round has come and gone at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship, and Groups A and B each featured one fairly dominant team.