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Martin Chromiak: A Potential Steal of the Draft?

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Continuing the trend of post-first round prospects, Martin Chromiak is the next prospect we profile.

Kingston Frontenacs v Windsor Spitfires Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images

17 year old Martin Chromiak, out of Slovenia, seems to fit the bill of a potential steal. Who is Chromiak?

Who is Martin Chromiak?

Martin Chromiak stands 6’0, 181 lbs, and plays as a LW for the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL. Internationally he represents Slovania, playing for both its Under 20s and Under 18s teams. Born on April 20th, 2002, Chromiak is one of the younger prospects eligible for the draft.

Last season, he split his time with Kingston and HK Dukla Trencin in Slovenia’s top league. His stats can be found below.

After a weak first half with Dukla Trencin, Chromiak proceeded to dominate the OHL, recording 33 points through 28 games. He produced internationally as well, averaging over a point per game for both the U20s and U18s, and becoming the top scorer for the U20s.

Another thing to note: Historically, all Chromiak has done is produce, regardless of the leve he plays at. His numbers are excellent every year. So, where does he rank?

Rankings:

Future Considerations - #44

NHL Central Scouting (NA) - #30

EliteProspects - #56

Despite his production, Chromiak seemingly has not done enough to place himself in the first round range. So what gives? Is there a fatal flaw in Chromiak’s game? A personality issue?

What others say about Chromiak

Last Word on Hockey has this to say

Chromiak has the offensive skills to be a top-six forward. There has been some question as to how much of his production is as a result of playing with Wright. However, Chromiak brings his own offensive skill to the table and is a contributing part of Kingston’s top line. There are still some questions about his skating and his play in his own end of the ice though. He will also need to get stronger to be able to play his style at the next level. His game is reminiscent of Brock Boeser but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.

It seems there is some hesitance as to what Chromiak actually brings, due to constantly playing with mega-prospect Shane Wright. Despite having the weapons to develop into a top 6 forward, his skating is a massive question mark and he struggles on defense. Being compared to Brock Boeser, on the other hand, is a massive compliment that can’t be ignored (Even with the caveat at the end).

Tony Ferrari of Dobber Prospect gives this take

Stepping right into the OHL and onto Shane Wright’s line in Kingston, Chromiak didn’t disappoint. He almost instantly gelled with Wright and Zayde Wisdom forming one of the more dangerous lines in the second half of the OHL season. While there has been some trepidation that Chromiak’s scoring rate was inflated by playing with Wright, the fact of the matter is that Wright’s scoring rate rose when Chromiak arrived. The two players clearly benefitted from each other and that bodes well for Chromiak. He doesn’t drive a line on his own but the young Slovakian forward is an excellent complimentary piece that has the intelligence, skating, and skill to play with high-level players. Chromiak has a very good shot and doesn’t hesitate to use it. He sees the ice well and finds teammates regularly. Chromiak looks like a player that a team could find in the second or third round of the 2020 NHL Draft and play higher in the lineup than initially expected.

An interesting note - Shane Wright’s scoring rose when Chromiak arrived, which indicates that Chromiak did not sole reap from the union. Chromiak clearly has skill — or at least enough so to be better than Wright’s former linemate. Chromiak possesses great IQ for a prospect, likely from playing at a professional league in Slovakia, and speaks as a massive boom or bust project pick.

Video Highlights:

The OHL official Youtube posted this highlight reel

Probably the most obvious note: What a shot. Chromiak has a wicked wrist shot, that (based on highlights) seems to find the spot with ease.

When paired with a player like Shane Wright, Chromiak always is aware of Wright’s positioning, and dishes to him whenever the chance arises.

Some more highlights, this time from HSD Prospects

Similar highlights: Chromiak is clearly a talented player and has amazing offensive instincts.

Where Will He Fall: Chromiak, to me, seems like a player that could completely fall out of the top two rounds in general, or have a GM fall in love with him and pick him in the late first round. There is obviously skill in Chromiak — The question is will it translate? As the Devils do not currently hold a 2nd round pick, and it’s unknown if their 3rd with Carolina will translate, I find it unlikely at best that the Devils will draft Chromiak. If they do, it will likely have to be with a late first round pick, at which I think it’s a stretch.

While Chromiak has top six-potential, players like Chromiak seem more likely to struggle at the NHL level, similar to Reid Boucher, a former Devils prospect. Players who don’t play defense and who struggle with speed will have difficulty creating or finding chances at the top level, and are not worth the value associated with a first round pick.

Your Take: What do you think of Chromiak? Do you agree with my take? Let me know in the comments below, and take care!