NHL Draft 2014: Buffalo Sabres select LW Vaclav Karabacek with pick No. 49
The Sabres add another scoring winger who's shown amazing improvement in his first North American season.
With the 49th pick in the NLH Draft, the Buffalo Sabres selected left winger Vaclav Karabacek from Gatineau of the QMJHL.
Karabacek was described by the TSN draft panel as a "hungry scorer", and 21 goals in his first year of junior hockey certainly back that up. He showed a lot of improvement in his first North American season after coming over from the Czech Republic, and his decent size (6'0'', 183 lbs) helps him to protect the puck and get into the scoring areas.
Here's what Hockey's Future has to say:
A pure goal-scorer, Karabacek excels at finding the open spots in the offensive zone and bulging the twine. Though not a dynamic skater, he uses his frame well to protect the puck and get into position to make a play. Still needing to round out his game, especially in his own end, Karabacek has improved by leaps and bounds over the course of his first season in North America.
#Sabres Round 2 pick Vaclav Karabacek finished 1st in RH grip strength at @NHL Combine, at 199 pounds. #Sabres2014Draft— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) June 28, 2014
There's also some great info on him from this scouting report at In Lour We Trust. Some of the highlights are below:
He's tough along the boards, doesn't make stupid passes, protects the puck well, and can convert the long possession his style supports into scoring chances with his opportunistic positioning and quick wrister.
I think he maxes out as a second liner that gets a really high ZS%, but absurdly high Corsi because once he's in the offensive zone he will win all the loose pucks, protect the puck when he has it, make smart passes, create scoring chances, and sometimes even finish them. He will need to be sheltered, but he could be very useful a great fit.