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Lukáš Jašek: 2015 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

Lukas Jasek is a speedy forward out of the Czech Republic, but with limited minutes playing in highest Czech league and a disappointing U18 WJC, there are some question marks that remain with his play. Is he a fit for the Devils in the late rounds?

Who is Lukas Jasek?

Lukas Jasek is a winger from the Czech Republic who played for HC Trinec of the Czech Extraliga this past season. He has come up through the junior ranks in the Czech republic over the years, for the most part, but he also spent a season in Swedish juniors in 2013-14. This past season, he spent a majority of his time at the Czech professional level with HC Trinec, though in a limited role as a 17-year old in the Czech Republic's highest league. Jasek has a reasonable amount of height at 6'-1" but will likely need to fill out his frame a bit at just 172 pounds. As one of the youngest players eligible for this year's draft with his late-August '97 birthday (just 18 days before the cutoff), he still has plenty of time to get bigger and stronger. Below are his career stats from Elite Prospects:

Being that Jasek is projected as a likely 3rd or 4th round pick, it's unsurprising to see that he was not necessarily a prolific scorer in the Czech Extraliga as a 17-year-old. As with any other 17-year-old, it merits praise that Jasek was even on a team in that league getting minutes. He did show that he can produce while he was with HC Trinec's U20 team though, as he was able to put up over a point-per-game there. In international competition, Jasek has had some mixed results, with a strong performance at the U18 Hlinka Memorial tourney that included a 4-point game versus Team USA but also a point-less effort in the U18 World Juniors this spring.

Rankings-wise, Jasek, as mentioned, seems to perhaps be headed toward a third or fourth round choice in the upcoming draft. He was ranked 23rd among European skaters by NHL's Central Scouting, and shows up at #76 in Corey Pronman's top 100 at ESPN. He was in and out of Craig Button's top 100 at TSN, showing up there at #75 as recently as February, though his tough showing at the U18 WJC likely hurt his stock a bit.

As a player, his shot and his skating are two things that seem to come up as his main assets and he appears to have some potential as a scoring winger. His hockey IQ is also mentioned as a plus, which never hurts, but he did see his stock slide somewhat this season after coming into it as an "A" player to watch (possible first-rounder) from Central Scouting. That could have something to do with Jasek being on the young side of the draft and playing in an adult league, thus limiting his opportunity to stand out. Overall, he seems to be a talented player, but there isn't an abundance of info out there on him, so he carries some risk in being a less-known quantity compared to some of his peers.

What are Others Saying About Lukas Jasek

As a later-round prospect playing in Eastern Europe, there aren't a ton of publicly available scouting reports on Jasek, at least not in English. You can gather bits and pieces of his play through different sources. Here is the writeup from the game against the US in the Hlinka Memorial tourney that saw Jasek pot 2 goals and an assist (though one of the goals was an empty netter). Here is an interview translated (poorly) from Czech on Jasek's time in Sweden the season before last. Google Translate's limitations are very much shown there, but you can pick up a little insight on why he went to Sweden and why he returned to the Czech Republic after just one season.

On the actual draft profile side, again, information is a bit sparse, but here is a description of his play that comes from Bill Placzek at Draft Site:

A high energy player who can really shoot the puck. Has very good acceleration and fluid stride. Gets to the loose pucks and has good instincts where to go with it. Long term project who needs to build strength. His puck smarts alone will garnish him consideration.

Speed and a good shot are a good start to a scoring winger, so that is definitely a positive for Jasek's game. Good to see that his instincts/smarts are praised as well. He might need to build up some strength, but as mentioned earlier, he is very much on the young side for this draft, so he could have a bit more growing into his frame to do.

Next, we have at least a little bit of insight to his drop on some draft boards from ISS in their May "Rising and Falling" post:

Disappears a lot, good speed, very casual, think the game well, hard to find in two tough games for the Czech team against USA/CAN.

So it definitely seems like his zero-point (in 5 games) U18 WJC had some impact on his stock, as one might expect. More scouts eyes were probably on him at U18s than most of the rest of the season, so he picked a sub-optimal time to slump.

Corey Pronman has a little write up on Jasek with his ranking in the top 100 over at ESPN. There's a pay wall, so I don't want to quote too much, but I did want to share this one line:

The merits of Jasek's abilities are better seen on a scouting level than by his misleading production this season, as he didn't play a ton while on a team in the top Czech division.

So while Jasek hasn't necessarily produced in the Czech Extraliga, part of that is due to very limited ice time. In short: he's better than the impression you might get from 2 assists in 23 games. With that in mind, it probably makes sense that there are some murmurs of him heading to the CHL next season over at Hockey's Future.

Some Video

Video is, as you might expect, also limited for Jasek, but here is one video of one of his goals versus the US in the Hlinka Memorial tournament. He does a nice job of taking a pass that was a little bit behind him and slinging it home for the Czechs. The insight into his game here is limited, but it is definitely a nice shot. If you also want to see him trickle one into an empty net from his own zone on a backhanded clear, you can do that here.

Otherwise, that's pretty much it for video on his gameplay, at least that I could dig up. If you speak Czech or just want to watch a person speak a language you don't understand for 90 seconds, there is this postgame interview after a win over Sweden video as well:

An Opinion of Sorts

With what is out there on Lukas Jasek, it's hard to gather a fully realized picture of him as a prospect, but he does seem to have some talent and he is good enough to be playing a good portion of a season in the Czech Republic's highest league before his 18th birthday. A fast and agile skater with a good shot is definitely something the Devils could use, but he remains a bit of an unknown, at least based on what I can find on him. It's the type of pick that I don't mind the team making in the later rounds of the draft, but I think I'd be a bit weary of the Devils taking him with their third-rounder.

I think he makes sense as a mid-to-late rounder, though, given that he is young and seems to possess a lot of potential. Taking a guy like Jasek with some potential but also question marks starts to make more sense in the late rounds in particular. I'd certainly prefer to take him in the later rounds over a CHL banger whose best hope is being a 4th line energy guy. On the other hand, in the third-round range, he strikes me as somewhat of a reach. It's hard to know that for sure, but based on what is out there, you will likely still have some guys who are better bets to make it to the NHL still on the board. Jasek could have decent potential, but for now he does seem to carry a good bit of risk before the 4th round or so.

Your Take

So after reading this, what are your thoughts on Lukas Jasek as a prospect? Where do you think he might go in the draft? Would you want the Devils to take him? Do you think he is a player who could break out if he jumps over to the CHL next season? Are there other types of players you'd prefer to take at this point? Comment below with your thoughts and thanks for reading.