2020 fourth-round draft pick, the “shifty” Lukas Svejkovsky, returns to the countdown with a boosted stock.
#25: Nolan Collins
#24: Colin Swoyer
#23: Jonathan Gruden
#22: Ty Glover
#21: Kirill Tankov
#20: Judd Caulfield
#19 Corey Andonovski
#18: Jordan Frasca
#17: Isaac Belliveau
#16: Taylor Gauthier
#15: Alex Nylander
#14: Nathan Legare
#13: Tristan Broz
#12: Raivis Ansons
#11: Lukas Svejkovsky
2021 Ranking: 18
Age: 20 (November 23, 2001)
Height/Weight: 5’9”/170 lbs.
Acquired Via: 2020 NHL Draft - Round 4 - Pick 108
Lukas Svejkovsky has to be feeling pretty good about his 2021-22 season. The winger recorded another impressive campaign with great offensive numbers split between two clubs in the Western Hockey League.
In addition to his great regular season, he helped lead his team, the Seattle Thunderbirds, to a lengthy postseason run, making it to the 2022 WHL Championship series, but coming up just short to the Edmonton Oil Kings.
His junior career has come to an end, and now the Tampa, Florida native will turn his attention to making the leap to the American Hockey League after signing his entry-level contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins just a few months ago.
Undersized mid-round prospects like Svejkovsky can be very hit or miss and there are way more misses than hits, but Svejkovsky’s consistent penchant for points is a definite positive as he turns his focus to playing against the bigger competition in the AHL.
Here’s what DobberProspects had to say following Svejkovsky’s 2021-22 season:
May 2022 – The Penguins' 2020 fourth-round pick was amongst the best players in the WHL as an overage player, finally having the dominant campaign expected of him. He recently signed his ELC and will likely step immediately into Wilkes-Barre’s top nine and fight for a place on the PP1. The question with Svejkovsky when the Penguins drafted him was whether or not he could compensate for his 5-foot-9, 170-pound frame, and that question remains unanswered. He has a refined offensive skill set, can make space for himself with his hands, and his shot is NHL quality. He possesses good skating technique and speed and is engaged in all three zones. However, he does not have one skill or trait that separates him from the pack, and his production has never been exceptional. Time will tell if he can be more than a career minor leaguer. -Kyle Watson
There is a skill set there that is worthy of playing hockey at a professional level. Like many of the prospects on this list, the biggest question is how well will Svejkovsky adjust to playing AHL hockey. Will the offense carry over? Can he play adequate defense to round out his game? Is his smaller frame a concern as he regularly lines up against bulkier players?
One of Svejkovsky’s supporters in the Penguins’ system is the team’s Director of Player of Development, longtime Wilkes-Barre/Scranton player, Tom Kostopoulos:
Kostopoulos said Svejkovsky, who’s listed at 5-10 and 165, looks to have added a little bit more bulk and size to his frame, and that it will be interesting to see how that translates as he makes the jump to professional hockey this season.
“He’s pretty dynamic,” Kostopoulos said. “He’s shifty. He’s got hockey sense. He’s creative with the puck and can make things happen offensively. Pro is almost always an adjustment for a guy coming from junior, but he has a good attitude and work ethic. I think there will be some things to learn along the way. But what he can do with the puck and what he can create is pretty special.”
What do you Svej we watch some season highlights brought to you by Lukas Svejkovsky pic.twitter.com/ANmy4j1TxL— Seattle Thunderbirds (@SeattleTbirds) June 27, 2022
There were many more highlights like the ones above, but I had to draw the line at some point.
Svejkovsky’s trajectory remains that of a top-nine/bottom-six forward with some solid NHL attributes. The quest of climbing the NHL ladder now takes him to a new, much more challenging rung.