2015 Sabres Draft Profiles: Filip Chlapik
Chlapik is another solid two-way center that will likely be available when the Sabres are on the clock at 21.
Weight: 196 lbs.
Current Team: Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL)
Central Scouting Ranking: 18 (North America)
Filip Chlapik isn't the flashiest player in the draft. He's one of the numerous two-way centers that seemed to be clumped somewhere in the second half of the first-round projections.
Chlapik centered fellow draft-eligible player Daniel Sprong (who I wrote about earlier), and like his linemate put up plenty of points this season. Chlapik set a franchise record for rookie goals and points, trailing only Sprong for the overall team lead. His 33 goals led rookies in the QMJHL. He was wheeling and dealing in the playoffs as well, notching one goal and eight assists in nine games but was a slightly disheartening -7.
This year was his first in North America, coming over from the Czech U-20 league. He led Sparta Pracha with 35 points.
He's been a bit quiet internationally. He's played ten U-18 World Junior Championship games, notching only one assist. Seven of those games came last year, when the Czech Republic made it all the way to the gold medal game. The assist didn't come until that final loss to the United States. He did produce well at the Hlinka Memorial, playing at a point-a-game pace.
In addition to his point production he was rather sound in his own end and his hockey IQ is complimented frequently. It's no mistake that he had more assists than goals, as he has superb vision and can set up others very well.
Some scouts are worried about his skating, as you'll see in the Hockey News quote below. He's not very fast, but some believe he can improve with work. Others apparently don't seem worried at all, as people like Central Scouting's Dan Marr say he's a good skater. It's a bit conflicting.
"For me, he's a very deceiving skater and he's also a very good puck protector, and that's part of skating, balance," Islanders GM Grant Sonier told Sportsnet. "His potential to grow is very high."
He jumps around depending on what ranking system you're looking at. He's 18 on Central Scouting, but not in the Top 30 in the ISS Rankings. The Hockey News has him at 32, and TSN has him all the way down at 39. So whether he'll still be available at 31 is really anyone's guess.
What They're Saying
"Filip is a very good skater with good vision and puck skills. He always seems to be in the right position on the ice both with and without the puck. He can jump on loose pucks and transition quickly. A good combination of size, skating and hockey sense."
-Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting
Chlapik is a Solid, two-way centre who is very smart and can play in the varying situations of the game and find ways to be a positive contributor. There is nothing flashy about his game but he finds the path to productivity with and without the puck and adds the quality of timely plays to his repertoire.
"He's a big body with a heavy shot and he thinks the game really well. He's really strong defensively, is a 200-foot player. He's a guy who distributes the puck well and is able to find the open areas and open man on the ice."
-Gordie Dwyer, Charlottetown Islanders head coach
Chlapik had himself a fantastic rookie campaign in North America by all accounts, and there's really only one criticism of the Czech youngster: his awkward skating style. In straight lines he's fine, but there's a slight concern otherwise. 'How will that translate?' said one scout. 'What will his stability be like when he goes into the corners at the next level?'"
-The Hockey News