With the 87th pick of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Ottawa Senators select Czech defenseman Tomas Hamara, from the Liiga club Tappara.
Hamara split time with Tappara’s Liiga squad and the U20 team. He posted 6 goals and 19 assists in 35 games with his fellow developing players, and 2 assists in 24 games with the big club.
Publicly available rankings are higher on Hamara as opposed to Ottawa’s other selections so far. Listed on Elite Prospects, he’s ranked as high as 46th by TSN’s Craig Button, and as low as 76th by McKeen’s Hockey. A certified steal by Pierre Dorion.
The aforementioned Elite Prospects describes him as “A fluid, offensive defender who blends a great deal of deception into his rush patterns and transitional game. Above-average puck skils”.
Furthermore, Elite Prospects’ director of European scouting, Lassi Alanen, has Hamara listed as the best U20 Liiga defender this year in terms of generating and depressing rush chances.
Tomas Hamara (OTT, #87) was the best draft-eligible rush defender in the Finnish U20 league this season. Leverages his mobility to gap up early and forces a lot of dump-in and breakups. Can quarterback a power play and create in the OZ, too. Good value at this range. #GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/Ko4IBhLypW— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) July 8, 2022
A left-shot defenseman, Hamara will further improve Ottawa’s strongest organizational position, joining Thomas Chabot, Jake Sanderson, Erik Brannstrom, Tyler Kleven, and fellow 2022 draftee Filip Nordberg. Speaking of Chabot, the star defencemen has been somewhat of a role model for Hamara throughout his young career.
Sens draft pick Tomas Hamara says he grew up idolizing Thomas Chabot.— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) July 8, 2022
Watched him play with Team Canada at WJC and thought to himself, “I want to be like him and play like him one day.” pic.twitter.com/daJhkL0iyt
Welcome to Ottawa, Tomas!