Today's profile looks at Jakub Zboril, a defenseman from the Saint John Sea Dogs in the QMJHL
Jakub Zboril, Defenseman, 6-foot-1, 185 Pounds, Shoots Left
|2013-2014||HC Kometa Brno U20 (Czech U20)||36||5||16||21||18||57|
|2014-2015||Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)||44||13||20||33||2||73|
|2014-2015||Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)||5||1||2||3||-3||18|
Jakub Zboril is a smooth skating two way defenseman originally from the Czech Republic. He was drafted fifth overall in the CHL Import Draft last year and has spent this season with the Saint John Sea Dogs.
Zboril is relied upon in the QMJHL to play in all situations. He logs significant minutes on the powerplay and the penalty kill. He plays an all around game and uses his body effectively. His size doesn't necessarily mean he'll be able to translate that physical grittiness into the pros. He suffered from injuries this year, in part due to his physical game.
In terms of his skating ability he is probably one of the best in the entire draft. Zboril can move fast, skating his way out of danger but also being able to join the rush offensively. In addition to this he's got an excellent shot.
Not only does he possess a great shot he's also known for his vision on the ice. Making the point perfect pass and seeing how the play is going to develop.
He was a surprise omission from the World Juniors roster, despite performing well in other tournaments for the Czech Republic. An injury in January meant he missed a large chunk of the second half of the QMJHL's season.
In terms of his weaknesses there are two complaints that appear frequently. Firstly is his work ethic. Some scouts think he works hard and puts in the effort every game. Others think he doesn't particularly care and is lackluster. Without watching most of his games it's hard to make a judgement on how accurate that is.
The second is something that might not necessarily be a bad thing. Zboril isn't particularly flashy, he plays well but doesn't stand out in any particular way. Being good but not being flashy isn't necessarily bad but with the Dallas Stars picking at 12th would they prefer someone who has more standout school rather than being a steady all rounder?
I don't think the Dallas Stars will select Jakub Zboril but they have been known to surprise, taking a player who was projected to go later than when they were picking. He's likely to be taken in the late teens or late in the first round. But if the Dallas Stars have taken a shine to him it's possible they might make that reach. I don't think they will, but it's still possible.
What do they say about him?
A good two-way blue liner...plays a complete game and relies on his impressive footwork to maintain defensive coverage as well as put himself into the offensive play...has a good top speed and all-round mobility...has a dangerous point shot that is both accurate and hard...has a physical element to his game and will step up to make a hit...clears the crease and separates opponents form the puck with his body in the defensive zone...has an active stick...good upside as an all-round NHL defender
Jakub Zboril is an excellent powerplay quarterback, with strong poise with the puck and good vision and passing skill. He also has a rocket of a slap shot, as well as an excellent wrist shot and good release. Zboril is patient and waits for a proper shooting lane to get his shot through to the net. He is able to use his agility, and edge work to walk the line and open up passing and shooting lanes to the net.
If he is able to reach his ceiling, Jakub Zboril has the potential to be a top pair defender, and power play quarterback in the NHL, though he will need some time to develop. More likely he ends up as a second pairing guy who does everything well and plays power play and penalty killing time. His game and style is similar to James Wisniewski though this is not a talent comparison, but merely a stylistic one.