2022 NHL Draft: Sabres Select Jiri Kulich with 28th Overall Pick
Buffalo’s third center of the night comes from the Czech Republic.
With the 28th selection in the 2022 NHL Draft, the Buffalo Sabres select their third center of the night, Jiri Kulich, from Karlovy Vary of the Czech Republic.
Can't wait to see how Jiří Kulich does at the #WorldJuniors.— Josh Tessler 🇺🇦 (@JoshTessler_) December 24, 2021
He's constantly on the hunt for open ice in the slot to key up passing lanes. Nets the puck and quickly shoots. Quick release and go top shelf with ease.
Watch out for the #2022NHLDraft prospect during the tournament. pic.twitter.com/zQCrgc8r6J
Kulich is a 200 foot center who excels in the defensive zone, has very good north/south speed, and has a great shot from the slot. He was a player that showcased his scoring ability in the u18s with nine goals in six games, and a player that lived in the Brisson slot on the power play to unleash a deadly one timer.
Folks, the time has finally arrived. Scouching Report #1 is now available, profiling Jiri Kulich of HC Karlovy Vary. Enjoy and stay tuned for more coming soon!https://t.co/5QkS9h7KL0— Will Scouch (@Scouching) April 18, 2022
He struggles a bit in transition as his passing decisions can be inconsistent across all levels of competition, but he does possess good puck skill and speed that with time I can see him becoming a more dynamic offensive rush player.
Conservatively I see him as a left winger who will make a living at the Olofsson spot on the power play. I think an aggressive projection would have him as a middle six center who is going to be able to be a dynamic 200 foot center who can be both a playmaker and a scorer.
Jiří Kulich (#25 in white) is so much fun.— Josh Tessler 🇺🇦 (@JoshTessler_) December 22, 2021
Generates quality lateral passing lanes in the neutral zone. He uses his reach to extend the puck far enough to avoid turning the puck over. Then cradles the puck around David Jiricek in the slot before scoring.#2022NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/LTO4Ga8XPV
I had Kulich ranked as the 21st ranked player on the Sabres board. I think the big question for me is whether he sticks at center or moves to the wing. He could be a highly effective winger, but that usually devalues a player in the NHL draft. Lean into the shot, the skill, and that the rush offense will develop as he continues to play in the Czech men’s league.
I expect Jiri Kulich to get picked somewhere in the 20-30 range of the 2022 NHL draft, but I could easily see the Czech forward ultimately outplaying his draft spot. I see some hints of top-line upside that could be mined with the right development pic.twitter.com/u9lJX8xMir— Derek Neumeier (@Derek_N_NHL) June 18, 2022