CHICAGO — After an interesting first 11 picks, the Carolina Hurricanes elected to keep the #12 pick and select Martin Necas, a center from the Czech Republic. Necas is the 5th ranked European skater by NHL Central Scouting. The first thing that comes to mind with regard to Necas is his elite skating ability. Nearly every report on the center noted just how smooth and shifty he moved about the ice. One of Necas’ other biggest strengths is his ability to create his own opportunities, as well as chances for his linemates, with a solid forecheck and vision. And while his time with HC Kometo Brno in the Czech men’s elite didn’t turn heads point-production wise, those who watched him knew just how special of a player he is and can continue to be.
The biggest knock against the 18-year-old Necas is his need to fill out his frame; at 6’ 0”, 167 pounds, he’s got some work to do in the weight room before joining the big club. When asked what he brings to the Canes, Necas responded, “I’m a typical playmaker. I like to play a two-way game, and I think I’m a very good skater. I need to work on my strength and be stronger.”
But even knowing he has a bit more of a road before being fully NHL-ready, Necas remains confident. “I hope after one (more) year (playing in Czech elite league), I will be ready. I will do everything for it,” he said, when asked about his potential NHL debut. Necas also gave a bit of insight into the draft process from his perspective, noting a “good interview” with the Canes and acknowledging the lottery-like nature of the draft. “I’m really glad (to be drafted by) Carolina,” he said.
Coming into the Draft, the Hurricanes needed to gain depth at the center-ice position, either by trade or draft. And while a trade for a star forward would have made things more interesting, drafting the speedy Necas helps bolster Carolina down the middle for the future.
Necas flexed his hockey knowledge, clearly taking pride in having closely watched the NHL for the past year and having a solid idea of where he may fit and who could pick him. “I know every team and every player. I watched the whole last (NHL) season, every highlight. NHL is the best league in the world, and I want to play (in it),” he said. Necas also spoke about modeling his game after fellow Czech David Krejci, and noted Jeff Skinner as one of his favorite Hurricanes players to watch.
Necas closed the English portion of the interview by revealing his choice of number: 88.
Martin Necas 2017 NHL draft profile | SB Nation NHL Draft Match
Welcome Martin Necas to Carolina! The Czech forward has a ton of skill.Posted by Canes Country on Friday, June 23, 2017
Martin Necas at the podiumPosted by Canes Country on Friday, June 23, 2017