After an exciting day where picks and players changed hands left and right, the Carolina Hurricanes selected Martin Necas from Brno of the Czech Extraliga with the 12th pick of the first round. As the draft unfolded, there were a couple options who fell a bit farther then many would have expected but in the end, Carolina ended up selecting a player who they likely had targeted at 12 throughout the scouting process.
- DOB: January 15, 1999 - Nova Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic
- Team: HC Kometa Brno
- Center | Shoots: R | 6’1”, 168 lbs
- 2016-17 Stats: 41 GP - 7G, 8A, 15 Points, 6 PIM
As is typical with recent Carolina draft picks, Necas’s game is all about speed and smarts. He’s a burner who has the ability to affect the game offensively with high hockey sense and is solid both in the offensive zone and on the rush. He pushes play when in possession and is shifty laterally which helps him in one-on-one situations with bigger, slower defensemen. You can typically find him below the circles in the offensive zone where he finds high-danger pockets of space and has a quick release to find the back of the net.
His most notable contributions will likely be at even strength and with the man advantage, where Necas patrols the half boards and loves to curl and either put pucks on net or find an open teammate for scoring chances. He’s a guy who by all accounts has the work ethic to develop on the defensive side of the puck, with the opportunity to be a consistent two-way player in the future.
The biggest tick against him is his weight, as Necas is under 180 pounds, but he has put on a good amount of strength since his draft season started. I’ll be interested to see where he ends up playing his hockey the next couple seasons, as he is eligible to play in the American Hockey League as a European underaged player. I would assume that the organization would love to get him acclimated to the North American game sooner, rather than later.
Necas should be given years to develop, but could blossom into a top-six center at the NHL level in the future.
A guy that I see a comparison to is a player like Kyle Turris from Ottawa. A guy who thrives off of speed and playmaking ability and is a good complementary piece.
On day two of the 2017 NHL Draft, the Canes still have seven picks remaining, including four of the first 42 selections on Saturday. Stay tuned starting at 10:00AM ET to see who Carolina rounds out their day with, and some analysis on their selections.