Ranking 21st out of European Skaters in the NHL Central Scouting's final rankings, Pavel Jenys is an interesting prospect that seems like he will go in the second round or later in the draft. While he has quite a unique skill set, he has some flaws in his game that will need some time to be strengthened. Jenys seems like he's a few years out from being NHL-ready, but we'll examine why he would be a good choice if still on the board during the third round.
Who is Pavel Jenys?
Hailing from The Czech Republic, Pavel Jenys was born on April 2, 1996 in the town of Brno. While he isn't a mountain of a man, his 6'2", 192 pound frame is a welcome change from some of the undersized prospects we have been looking at. Having turned 18 during the previous season, Jenys is both an average age prospect, as well as a boy who played against men during the past year. He spent last season splitting time between HC Kometa and their U20 team; he also represented the Czech Republic in international competition. Here are his stats from Elite Prospects:
His stats with the U20 team were what stood out most to me, as he average a goal every other game, and added 6 assists and 35 penalty minutes (for those of you who love guys that aren't afraid to get physical) in 26 games. His stats for HC Kometa were a lot less encouraging; a whopping 2 goals and 0 assists in 29 games, but it is worth noting junior players generally get less ice time when playing for the big club. His assist totals were rather low during international play as well, but his goal scoring was still respectable as he averaged a goal every third game. Jenys seems to be a scorer rather than a set-up man, and we all know the Devils could use some goal scorers in the system.
What Others Have Said About Jenys
Elite Prospects had a nice blurb about what Jenys brings to the table at this stage of his development:
Jenys has great size and willingness to use it in corner battles as well as in front of the oppositions cage. Has a good shot that is both hard and accurate. Lacks touch on his passes and can over handle the puck. Does not always bring the same high level of effort each game.
I like to see a player who isn't afraid to use the size that he has been given to his advantage in general, but the fact that corner battles are a large part of Devils hockey makes his willingness to battle even more desirable. We also can always use a good, hard, accurate shot on this team. His passing and puck handling currently need improving (which probably explains the lack of assists on his stat line) but most prospects have some area of their game that needs work at this stage of their career.
The last sentence is a deal breaker for me; I can completely understand if a player doesn't have the best skill set in the game. Effort however is in my opinion what separates good teams from great teams, and needs to be present every night. I honestly probably would have said "forget this guy" right at this point, but Hockey's Future seems to have a different take on his effort and energy level:
He's big and confident, has a really good one-timer, and has no problem winning physical battles. He'll need to work on his defensive play and passing, but he is a great character forward. The way he plays and shows up when his team needs it the most shows that he needs winning just as much as breathing. He would do all to win - block a shot or just give it more than a hundred percent.
Their scouting report reads much the same as Elite Prospects' in terms of his offensive and defensive game. I don't mind if a prospect's game is fully fleshed out yet; that's why they're called prospects. We can teach Jenys to play better defense, but you can't teach effort.
This report almost makes Jenys sound like he can transform from Mark Fayne into Jaromir Jagr; you barely notice him, but then when you need someone to step up, there he is. This had me feeling a bit better, as I thought maybe his lack of effort is just him playing low-event hockey and it's being misinterpreted as low-effort. Then I read this report by Mike Repertorio over at Pro Puck Prospects, which reinforced the first report:
Jenys, a hard battler with great size, started the season at the U20 level before a well-deserved promotion. Offensively, Jenys brings a hard and accurate shot as well as a strong net front presence. He needs to add some crispness to his passing and needs to avoid doing too much though if he is going to round out his offensive game.
He does need to improve his defensive zone play, but plays to win and will give up his body to block shots. Overall though, scouts want to see this character forward provide a more consistent effort level.
So everyone seems to think Jenys is a good guy to have around for the locker room, but doesn't bring the same energy level every game. I'm a bit confused by this, as I would think a lack of effort would make someone more likely to be disliked in the locker room. Long story short, if Jenys is on New Jersey's draft radar, I hope they've had some of their European scouts watching some of his games carefully.
A Little Video
There's not a whole lot of video that's easy to come by for Jenys, as he isn't being projected as an early round pick. Still this video does a great job showcasing his many positives; he uses his body to get position on the defenders, and then when his teammate puts a shot on net, Jenys is in a great spot to put the rebound home.
An Opinion of Sorts
Since I've browsed around and haven't been able to see much of Jenys play, I must say that I like quite a few things that I've heard about him; this is another forward prospect that could absolutely fit in and play Devils Hockey. He has good size, and could absolutely put on a bit more muscle weight before he gets to the NHL, or even the AHL for that matter. His willingness to battle both along the boards and in front of the net mean that he is always fighting for prime position, and knows both where he needs to be and what he needs to do.
While I was completely unimpressed with his paltry 2 points (both goals) for HC Kometa, as I said before he was a junior player getting time on the big club, which means he probably was not getting a lot of ice time. I would have hoped to have seen a few more points for him, but this shouldn't be a damning stat by any means, as again low ice time coupled with the fact that he was playing against men could impact his production. He played great for the U20 team, and his average of a goal every other game was encouraging.
Scouting states he needs to work on both his passing, and his defense and not to over-handle the puck. Passing and puck handling are skills that can be improved upon with practice, so this isn't a really a problem in my eyes. At the same time, I'm also never worried about a prospect that needs to be taught defense; our organization stresses it so often that it seems like a forgone conclusion that some time in juniors and the minors could do wonders for Pavel's defensive game. I don't see any of these areas that are currently lacking as reason not to draft Jenys.
The one major concern that I have is the fact that there are conflicting reports about his effort level, and this may wind up being more of a concern about the scouting rather than the player in the end. A couple or reports state he doesn't bring the same effort level every game, while another states he will do anything to win, including giving 100% or more. If I were part of the Devils scouting staff, I would try to get my hands on some game footage of him to gauge his effort level. If it truly seems like he gives it his all every game, then go for it and draft him at #71. If his effort does seem to be lacking at times, I think it would be best to skip over him in favor of another player. The last thing our team needs right now is to plug another floater in on the wing.
What are your thoughts on Pavel Jenys? Do you like the skill set he possesses? Do you think he would fit well with our team? Does his effort level concern you? Please leave your answers and other discussion about Jenys in the comments section below.