Ottawa Senators Select Filip Chlapik 48th Overall
With their second pick in the second round, the Sens took the QMJHL centre.
Surprisingly, when the Senators took Filip Chalpik in the second round, I'd actually heard of him. Damien Cox had him going as Ottawa's first-round pick in his mock draft for Sportsnet. He was also the 18th-ranked North American skater for NHL Central Scouting. Bob McKenzie had him going later, 39th overall, but still earlier than the pick the Sens got him at. Hockey's Future had him 35th overall, and McKeen's had him 40th overall. (HF and McKeen's not linked due to pay wall.)
First, some stats:
Centre with Charlottetown (QMJHL) - 6'1", 196 lbs
Regular season: 33 G, 42 A in 64 GP
Playoffs: 1 G, 8 A in 9GP
Those stats were good enough to finish third among QMJHL rookies in points, and first in goals. It was a real surprise he was not on the Czech World Junior team. Between TSN's Craig Button, HF, and McKeen's, one can get a pretty good idea of Chlapik's ability. His skating, agility, and balance are all praised. HF actually devoted quite a bit of their write-up to praising his stride and form when skating. McKeen's said his skating looks effortless even though it's very fast. His ability to read the play is exceptional, described as one of those players who can slow down the game when they possess the puck. This leads to him being seen as more of a playmaking centre. Possessing the puck, entering the zone with the puck, and finding space are all seen as strengths. Most scouts say he plays a strong two-way game, effectively retrieving the puck in his own zone.
I see two big weaknesses with his game from the scouting reports. Firstly, he seems to lack confidence. Scouts say he tends not to challenge defencemen unless there's a very obvious way to beat them. Still, with all the skills he has, I'm sure hesitation can be coached out of him. Secondly, he doesn't seem to have a lot of high-end skill. The likelihood of becoming a top-line player is low. However, he looks like a pretty safe bet to make the NHL as a third-line centre.
Craig Button lists his closest comparable as Sean Couturier, so we know at least he'll end up better than Mika Zibanejad. Damien Cox said he could replace Jason Spezza in the Sens' system, but I don't see him being that strong of an offensive prospect. Overall, I think this was a solid pickup by the team at a position later than most had him going. It's also nice to see the Sens take a non-NA, non-Swedish player.