Pre-draft profile – Tomas Fleischmann

By Ivana Paulova

You have probably never heard this name before but this is no reason to be alarmed. It is simply because this young Czech prospect has been shaded by all these excellent 84 born players. But this does not mean he is any lesser player than they are moreover bear in mind that Tomas is worth your attention not only for his on ice but also for his off ice qualities. Currently he is a member of the Czech team on the U-18 Championship.

Tomas comes from a hockey family so there was never any doubt what sport would Tomas choose. His dad and even his granddad were hockey players and devoted their lives to this beloved game. Tomas’ mother was actually the one who took Tomas to the public skating rink and at the age of 5 he made his first hockey steps there. At the age of 6 he started to play hockey for his hometown team in Koprivnice. Playing for 2 categories at the same time helped Tomas a lot. But in the 7th grade Koprivnice dropped from the Extraleague to the second highest league. So that he could play with the top players he needed to change teams. He was given offers from Zlin and Vitkovice. He decided to go to Vitkovice because they could offer him better conditions and also Vitkovice are closer to Koprivnice then Zlin is. This season was Tomas’ 5th one in the jersey of HC Vitkovice and he is glad that he chose to go there. In the near future he does not plan any changes.

Tomas was lucky enough to have a great deal of support from his family. He was a forward right from the start of his career as he says: “My dad and granddad were forwards so I did not want to break the tradition. I like to play with the puck a lot and I love scoring goals and that is possible only in the forward position”. His dad was the one who influenced him the most and gave him advice and leed him in his hockey beginnings. Tomas’s dad is for sure his biggest fan but a lot of his friends go and support him as well. With the Czech junior league it is unusual that a lot of people come to watch a game so most of the time only parents and closest friends come to games. This make it something like about 50 spectators at the most. Sad when you think about it. They deserve better!

Anyway Tomas is the type of player that cannot be distracted by these external matters or infact by anything. He is always in a good mood and off-ice he is just cool. No problems, he just likes to have fun. On-ice he is calm but he knows when is the right time to change when to become more intense and help the team. He does not really mind with whom he plays. He gets on well with almost anyone. But when he played with someone who was not a pro-combination type of player, Tomas did not enjoy playing. On the other hand playing with technical players never causes any problems. In Vitkovice he had already played a 2nd season with Jakub Hulva and Rostislav Olesz and they play really well together. He has never had any serious injury or anything broken so he is also a lucky guy.

When looking at Tomas you see that he is a tall guy (6-1) but to his disadvantage he is quite light (168 lbs). Until the midgets category Tomas was a short guy. He was only 5-5 and so as most smallish players are he was a brilliant technician but then he grew a lot and suddenly he was a big and technical player. The technical style of play suits Tomas the best as he is very skilled. He does not shy away from the physical style of play but he is not looking for it either. He is a smart player. To waste energy on unnecessary things seems pointless to Tomas and he rather concentrates on the game itself. He possesses great stickhandling abilities and he handles the puck with exceptional poise and smarts. The assets that make Tomas an excellent player are his good speed, well developed hockey sense, hard drive on the net and accurate shot. As regards his weaker points Tomas needs to improve firstly the hardness of his shot and secondly the stability and balance. Tomas like all the young players says that if he works on everything now the only thing left to change in later life will be his maturity!

Hockey is definitely Tomas’ number one option but he still keeps the back door opened. He goes to a high school in Vitkovice and this school specializes in an introduction to industrial areas. This school is close to a hockey arena and Tomas tries to go there as much as possible. He enjoys every subject and to finish his studies was the main reason why he did not leave to play in CHL.

Tomas is also very active in his free time. He likes to play other team sports. Swimming and bike riding fill his free time. In the 7th grade Tomas represented his elementary school in a floorball tournament in Prague which was like a Championship between the schools. Tomas’ school ended 4th which was pretty good. Before this tournament Tomas won the best scorer award in the Moravian group.
Perhaps what is special about Tomas is his love of gardening and wood-work. He says: “My favorite is probably cutting the grass”. In case something would go wrong with his hockey career Tomas can be sure he has a lot of options of what to do so he does not have to worry about his future.

This season Tomas played 8 play-off games in the senior category. Novy Jicin a team playing in the third highest league asked Tomas for help while attempting to move to the second highest league. They ended their journey in the semi-finals but in the 8 games that Tomas has played in he gained 5 points (3+2) and was the best player on the team.

Tomas is still waiting for some bigger success. With the national selection he has been on one event with the U-17 team in Finland. Tomas has been glad of this experience and definitely it was beneficial. This year he was the best in total points (in 46 games he gained 51 points for 26 goals and 25 assists) from all the 84 born players who play in the junior league in Czech Republic.
His constantly improving performance gained him the invitation to U-18 pre-World Championship camp. Coaches Kopriva and Marek finally realized Tomas’ potential and he earned a stable spot on the wing of the third line next to Kreps and Kubista.

For the next season Tomas will do everything to get a chance with the A team of Vitkovice. Which will not be easy because Vitkovice are playing in this year’s Czech Extraleague finals against Sparta Praha. In the distant future Tomas would like to experience the atmosphere of playing in the NHL. Wish him good luck in his dreams because talent and determination are nothing without luck.