Who is Jaromir Pytlik?
Jaromir Pytlik is a 6’3’’ Czech forward (he’s played both wing and center) who transferred to the OHL half-way into 2019 and played there, with the SooGreyhounds, through the remainder of the pre-cancelled 2020 season. He made the highest level Czech league and played 24 games, but only registered 1 assist in what was likely a reduced role. He’s played in a fair amount of international competition and helped the Greyhounds to a playoff run in which he played a crucial top 6 role. After a strong 12 points in 15 games in U18 Internation play, he seemed primed for a breakout in 2019-20, and early returns dwindled as the season dragged on. After recording 1.39 points per game through October, Pytlik only managed 0.74 points per game from November on. His draft stock slid as a result, making him either an exposed former first-round threat, or a bargain on a buy-low.
According to Byron Bader’s Hockey Prospecting site, Pytlick currently grades out as having roughly a 50/50 shot at making the NHL and is highly unlikely to be a star. His most encouraging comp is probably Nick Foligno.
According to Pick224, Pytlik has logged 18-19 minutes a game this season, is >50 in EV_GF% and positive in EV_GF%Rel and is producing points at a 2.3 P1/e60 rate — comparable to that of Devils 2019 3rd-rounder, Graeme Clarke.
Where is Jaromir Pytlik Ranked?
#46 North American Skaters - NHL Central Scouting (Final Ranking)
#29 - Future Considerations (March Ranking)
#70 - The Draft Analyst (March Ranking)
#49 - TSN - Bob McKenzie (Midseason Ranking)
Pytlik has been sliding down in value pretty steadily since rankings started coming out, which makes sense given is production drop. According to Colin Cudmore’s excellent tool, the draft position consensus on Pytlik has moved from #19-#40 down to #31-#80.
What Others Say About Jaromir Pytlik
We’ll start out with a broad quote from the defining authority on prospect stats, Elite Prospects
Jaromir Pytlik is the quintessential all-around player. Particular amongst his notable attributes are skating, puck control and finishing. He has the ability to break away in an offensive area and create a lot of scoring opportunities which makes him very effective. He’s an active playmaker who can lead the team with a number of combinations and final passes, but he can also take responsibility when needed with good defensive skills. Overall, he has excellent hockey sense. As a result of his speed and strong physical skill, he can make some tough one-on-one moves and often out-muscle defenders.
Generally, you’ll see his “all-around” game lauded by most who see him play. In the highlights you’ll also see him making plays in all 3 situations, so that likely goes into this appraisal a bit, as does his positional flexibility. All of those are mentioned in our next quote as well.
Pytlik is a very intelligent player and one of the most complete players in his draft class. His attention to detail on defence is as important to him as offence. The coaching staff can trust him with big defensive responsibilities and is usually the first player over the boards in the last minute whether down a goal or up a goal. He can kill penalties and is a threat offensively on the PK. Pytlik can play both center and wing, which is something NHL scouts covet, but he’ll need to put some work in on the dot. On the wing I would like him to add another gear to his speed. It’s also an area he has shown some improvement on over a year ago and there is nothing to suggest he won’t continue to put in the necessary work. Fans either like him because of his physical, power game or don’t because he isn’t a flashy bring them out of their seats kind of player. But scouts do because of his all-around complete game. The tool box is full but some of the tools need some sharpening. My money is on him eventually putting it all together.
As much as we may fawn over the fact that he’s not bad at anything, it’s also worth noting that he’s not particularly special at much either, his skating in particular:
Big centre-wing with a long reach, size, decent and enough skill and skate to possibly project as a 3rd line pro player who brings a strong effort and strong penalty killing sauve. Has more work to do on his skating, turns and his agilty, as he is more of a straight skater at this juncture.
A Little Video
I could only find two highlight reels for Pytlick. This first one has a healthy dose of rubber hitting the twine, but I think the best thing you could say about Pytlick’s contributions here is that, he’s got a knack for being in the right place at the right time, and he’s opportunistic enough to finish the chances he puts himself in. There’s a ton of royal road passes in here, and if these were the types of looks he was getting to start the season, it’s no wonder he got off to such a blazing start.
At 0:40 play is the only play I felt he created — he won the puck and then had a very tight and quick wraparound cross slot pass.
In this second reel you’ll see a really nifty couple of moves at 0:11 to spring himself loose and then set up the goal. At 0:34 another nice move allows him to draw a penalty. At 1:32 you get to see him dust the goalie brutally. At 2:27 he gets off a really nice touch pass with a man all over him. We see a little more of his supposedly broad skillset here, but also still a lot of open ice and great opportunities.
An Opinion of Sorts
He doesn’t jump off the statsheet or out of the video. If you like Pytlik it would have to come down to you believing the scouts that appreciate his ability to scale his all-around game to the NHL, or his coaches for using him in all situations. It’s not unprecedented for all-around players to have inconspicuous careers as prospects. In his draft year, Mikko Koivu tore up Finnish juniors and put up 1 assist in 21 games in their most elite league (sound familiar)? He was selected 6 and has been one of the best defensive forwards in the game since entering the NHL. Travis Zajac was very good in a very bad league (BCHL, NNHLe: 0.101 according to my estimates) and ended up being selected 20th. Both 6’2’’ forwards that play all 200-ft, all 3 situations, and have put together long careers as Swiss army knives.
It’s not completely out of the realm of possibility that Pytlik becomes that, and his current draft position is dropping way below where those two were selected. I didn’t like him when he was a 1st rounder. I think he does make a good mid-to-late 2nd rounder, though. The Devils don’t have one of those right now, but who knows what things will look like in a few weeks.
How do you feel about Pytlik? Do you like him as the first rounder he was perceived as in the beginning of the season? Do you perceive him as the 30-80 range he is now? Even lower? How do you feel about an all-around, but unspectacular prospect like him, in general?
Thanks for reading and leave your thoughts in the comments section below.