After trading down in the second round with the Detroit Red Wings and acquiring a fourth-rounder in the Cody Eakin deal, the Vegas Golden Knights were able to select two players in the fourth round of the 2021 NHL Draft. On the board for the Golden Knights are the top-rated Czech player, Jakub Brabenec and Edmonton Oil King Jakub Demek.
Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon selected Brabanec with the 102d overall pick. Last season with HC Kometa Brno and SK Horacka Slavia Trebic in the Czech Extraliga, which is the top professional league, the forward totaled one point in 26 games. The positive spin is playing in the top hockey league allowed Brabenec to play against grown men and boost his maturity.
The highest-ranked Czech forward by NHL Central Scouting is Jakub Brabenec, one of the youngest players in the #2021NHLDraft.
A skilled forward with good hands and hockey sense, led U18 national team in pts last season.
Here are some of his best moments from the 2020-21 season. pic.twitter.com/WvVKLpSVhR
— Czech Prospects (@CZprospects) July 17, 2021
Branenec was named to the Czech Republic’s U-18 World Juniors Team in 2020-21 where he had four assists in five games. His grandfather, Kamil Brabenec is a former Czech basketball player and coach who won three European Men’s Basketball medals.
The 17-year old 6-foot-one 165 pound left-shot forward was ranked at no. 21 for European skaters eligible for the 2021 draft. TSN’s Craig Button ranked the forward the highest at no. 62 and Smaht Scouting ranked him the lowest projecting him at no. 128.
Eliteprospects.com labels Brabenec as the following:
“He seems to know his next play before the puck comes to him. He flashes deception, anticipates seams, controls his skating to attack them, sees opportunities to hide at the top of the offensive zone to pop in the slot for passes, and generally supports plays well — even if connecting them can prove a bit more difficult.”
The 2020-21 season hurt Brabenec’s development and scouting as he was set to play in the QMJHL being drafted to the Charlottetown Islanders. However, due to COVID-19, Brabenec stayed overseas in the Czech Republic instead of transferring over.
26 picks later the team added another prospect with the same first name as Jakub Demek was selected 128th overall. Demek played last season with HC Kosice in the Slovak Extraliga. He tallied two points in ten games as well as two playoff games.
He was recently a first-round pick in the CHL import draft selected by the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL where he will likely play next season.
— Edmonton Oil Kings (@EdmOilKings) July 19, 2021
Little scouting has been done on Demek. His only scouting report comes as the 129th ranked European player. But the 6-foot-4 196 pounds left-shot winger should receive more as he enters the CHL.
The Vegas Golden Knights have three selections remaining in the 2021 Draft with a fifth-round pick they acquired in the Erik Haula/Nick Roy trade as well as their own 6th and 7th round picks. These picks are 155th, 190th, and 222nd overall.