Jan Zapletal


Brno Czech Rep.

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:








6th round (188th overall), 2004


187 lbs.

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2002-03: Zapletal moved to the Vsetin club after playing most of his youth hockey with Brno and was a solid two-way forward. He scored 5 goals with 7 assists and 10 PIM in 39 games with Vsetin’s U-18 in Czech juniors.

2003-04: Zapletal was converted to defense by Vsetin junior coach Bretislav Kopriva and played 51 games for Vsetin in the Czech U-20 league. He scored 2 goals with 4 assists and 26 PIM. Zapletal attended the Czech WJC U-18 evaluation camp and represented the Czech Republic at the Four Nations U-20 tournament in February. He was selected by the Regina Pats of the WHL in the second round (60th overall) of the CHL Import Draft.

2004-05: Zapletal made his North American debut with a Regina Pats team that won just twelve games all season. In 55 games, he scored 3 goals with 2 assists and was -19 with 20 PIM. He also attended the Lightning rookie camp in Traverse City.

2005-06: Zapletal returned to the Czech Republic – splitting the season between Vsetin’s Elite League and U-20 teams and also playing with Hradec in the Czech second league. Zapletal had no points with 10 PIM and was -7 in limited ice time with the Vsetin senior team and was scoreless with 16 PIM in 20 games for Hradec. In nine games with Vesetin’s U-20 squad he hat 3 assists and 2 PIM. 

2006-07: Zapletal returned to the Brno club where he played his youth hockey and played with their third division team. He scored 1 goal with 5 assists and had 32 PIM in 22 games.

2007-08: Zapletal split the season between three clubs in the Czech second and third divisions. He was scoreless with 10 PIM in 10 games with HC Olomouc in the second division. In 11 games with Sternberk in the third division, he scored 2 goals with 3 assists and had 12 PIM. He finished the year with third division Hodonin, where he scored 2 goals with 2 assists and had 22 PIM in 16 games. In three playoff games with Hodonin he had 1 assist and 2 PIM.

2008-09: Zapletal had the best offensive season of his career, albeit with Sternberk in the Czech third division. He scored 5 goals with 7 assists and 48 PIM in 39 games during the regular season and scored two goals with 6 PIM in five playoff games.

2009-10: Zapletal spent the season with HC Breclav in the Czech third division. HC Breclav finished 8th in the 12 team league as Zapletal’s former team, Hodonin, captured the regular season title.

Talent Analysis

Zapletal was drafted out of the lower Czech juniors due to his size and skating ability for a player his size. He has an accurate slap shot and good passing skills. An inexperienced defensemen coming out of the Czech Republic after playing the position for less than a year, he was overwhelmed at both the WHL level and in the Traverse City rookie camp with the Lightning. He has shown some solid positional skills and the initiative to join the play - but has played mostly at the lower levels in the Czech Republic since leaving North America.


Zapletal is playing alongside brother Jiri with HC Breclav in the Czech third division. He was a long-shot drafted primarily because of his size and skating ability when the Lightning selected him in 2004. After being overwhelmed in junior hockey on a poor Regina team and then clearly being out of his element among the NHL prospects with the Lightning, he returned to the Czech Republic in hopes of developing his game to match his physical attributes. To date, he has played mostly in the lower leagues in the Czech Republic. While his name is still listed among the Tampa Bay prospect pool, it is not likely he is still in their plans nor has any realistic shot of one day playing in the NHL.