U18s Notebook: The rising stock of Jiří Kulich
Jiri Kulich put together a strong season with the HC Energie Karlovy Vary in the Extraliga, Czechia's professional men's league, playing regular minutes and scoring a respectable 14 points in 49 games. But as a young player in a top professional league, he didn't get as many puck touches over the course of a game as most of his first-time draft-eligible peers who played in junior leagues. Most of Kulich's shifts were spent pursuing the puck and passing it quickly to teammates in transition.
The 2022 IIHF U18 World Hockey Championship represents Kulich's best chance to impress NHL brass; to show the world what he has to offer in a setting with players in his age group.
So far, Kulich's made the most of it. He's played with the same effort level and made the same strong off-puck reads that were hallmarks of his game in Czechia.
This pass interception is a good example of his defensive ability.
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