Please excuse my lack of formatting, as this is my first fan post.
Four days ago, this tweet appeared:
explaining the possible coming of a touted Czech prospect, Jiri Sekac, no not Joe Sakic, to the NHL after a breakout season with Lev Prague in the KHL. Apparently, Sekac's agent received offers, or interest, from 12 different NHL teams.Two days later (two days ago), this tweet appeared:
@Devils_for_Life Who are the others? - Others speculate it's NJD & PHI. The only thing I know for sure is that the Sens are 1 of 3.— Steve Lloyd (@TSNSteveLloyd) June 10, 2014
talking about how Sekac is down to a possible 3 teams, which are speculatively the Senators, Flyers, and Devils. I'm not sure about how reliable these tweets are though, or how accurate the rumors are, but let's have some fun.
I don't want to get my hopes too much at securing a low risk/high reward LW prospect, but I'd like to see what we'd be getting ourselves into if we do, in fact, sign him. So let's take a look at him. He's a 22 year old Czech-born player who's 6'2", 186 lbs. He entered the NHL entry draft a few years ago, but was passed over. He spent a split season in 2012-2013 between HC Lev Praha of the KHL and KC Sparta Praha in the Czech Extraliga. After a breakout season, he might just be headed to the NHL. So let's look at some of his stats.While 28 points in 47 games is hardly considered to be a truly "breakout season" for a player, Sekac was the second leading point scorer on the entire Lev Praha team…all at the age of 22, and in his very first full KHL season. That’s why there’s a lot of hype surrounding him, he has a tremendous potential. Taking his PPG in this past KHL season and projecting it over a span of 82 games gives him about 49 points (I know there’s a difference between the leagues, but it’s just a rough estimate). That is very similar to Adam Henrique’s point count in his first (almost) full season at 51. Again, another rough estimate, but it may serve as a good comparison point. Apparently, Sekac is only looking for an Entry-Level Contract, which is not a significant financial investment into a player, and is good for 3 years for him to develop. We could add significant depth to our shallow LW prospect pool with an extremely cost-efficient player. So, how does he actually play? Let’s take a look at his first career KHL playoff goal (scored this offseason during Lev Praha’s run to the Gagarin Cup Finals): Sekac is number 64 in Red.
Let's break it down. The wrap-around itself was rather lucky, bouncing off the skate of the defenseman standing in the crease...but did you see the way he gained the zone? After he gained the zone, he was able to fight off the defender and make a pass. After getting the rebound, he was able to fake the shot, and wrap the puck around the net, and made a shot. This was a fantastic shift for Sekac, and he did a phenomenal job putting the team on his back. Let's take another look at his hands, as he seems to have decent size and skating ability.
Here's a clip of him getting robbed in the (Gagarin) Cup Finals: Again, he's in 64 in Red
For this one, I don't think there's much to say, other than that was a really nice move. It reminds me a lot of the Loktionov goal against the Flyers two years ago.
Sekac has some international experience. Here's a goal he scored in the WC earlier this year against France:
His goal is right around the 2:20 time mark. Sekac is wearing 64 in white.
Once again, Sekac does a great job gaining the zone and fighting the defender off. In this case though, Sekac displays a beautiful backhand shot over the shoulder of the French goaltender.
I'm not saying Sekac is the answer to our offensive woes, but I really believe he is a risk we should take. I certainly think having Jagr, Elias, and Zidlicky on the team really pushes the Devils as a top team. What do you guys think? I'd love to hear your opinions on him( and on this post. I'd love some pointers on how to improve this. I know I've been writing in a very informal tone).
So do we pull the trigger on Sekac?