NHL Prospect Report

Central Europe Stock Watch: Jakub Rychlovský setting scoring records in Czech Extraliga

It's crunch time for just about every European hockey league, with the playoffs either set to start any second now or not far off in the distance. In fact, the Czech Extraliga that dominates today's Central Europe Stock Watch just had their regular season come to a close moments before this was published.

This is when professional teams lean on their veterans and expect them to shine, which just makes it all the more impressive when a young, developing player stands out. We've looked at a handful who may not be draft-eligible or even really a part of the organization that drafted them but remain young enough and talented enough to perhaps resurface as free agents.

Stock Rising 📈

Jakub Rychlovský, LW, Bílí Tygři Liberec (Free Agent)

Jakub Rychlovský's stock is skyrocketing at a rate that is sure to generate some attention overseas as a free agent of interest. The progress is undeniable, from one point in 13 contests in the 2019-20 season to 45 points in 50 games just four seasons later. He's now the youngest player in Czech Extraliga history to win the scoring title, scoring in the season finale to give him 26 goals on the season, one better than the previous record-holder, Dominik Kubalík.

His nickname is “Rychlík,” and it's a fitting one. The translation on it is “speed,” and that's one of the dominant features of his game. He's an intelligent, instinctual scorer with a flair for showing up big and scoring goals. NHL teams are right to have interest in Rychlovský.

Jáchym Kondelík, C, Motor České Budějovice (Nashville Predators)

The towering 6-foot-7 centre is back in the Czech Republic after his NHL hopes were, hopefully, temporarily dashed after a year in the AHL, and he's back in style. Jáchym Kondelík is playing with his junior club, scoring at about a 0.9 points per game pace, and if you project that over a full season, he'd be in the top 10 in Extraliga scoring.

Another season like this one, and he'll make a strong case for himself to move on to a more competitive European league or perhaps even the NHL. The former 111th pick has provided his team with a tremendous lift, bringing them back from staving off relegation to being in a position to advance directly to the quarterfinals.

Oliver Okuliar, LW, Mountfield HK (Free Agent)

This is only Oliver Okuliar's second season of Extraliga play, but he's already one of the best players in the league. The 23-year-old left winger led his team to the finals in his first full season with 29 points in the regular season and another 12 in the playoffs. Now, he's up to 44 points across 52 games.

Okuliar's hockey IQ, defensive awareness, and work rate contribute to his effectiveness. He's consistently demonstrated a solid understanding of defensive positioning, enough so that he's thrived as a centre in a demanding role on a good team.

Marcel Barinka, C, HC Vítkovice (Free Agent)

The 22-year-old centre has been playing in Germany's top league since 2020 with Cologne, Eisbären Berlin, Augsburg and Iserlohn. On Nov. 12, Marcel Barinka returned to the Czech Republic and now plays for Vítkovice. This signing has been a great success so far, as the center has 20 points in 34 games and can pick up more in the playoffs. For now, it looks like he has a very decent career in Europe ahead of him.

Stock Steady ↔️

Liam Kirk, LW, HC Litvínov (Arizona Coyotes)

It was a big moment for Liam Kirk and the whole Extraliga when he chose to sign here. Kirk came in together with Ondřej Kaše, and it's made the team a younger, more dangerous unit. The bastion of Czech hockey has at least now given Kirk a home and is counting on the British talent to help win the title. He, in turn, believes he can rebuild his NHL hopes and has held up his end of the bargain so far. For now, he's over half a point a game, which is good for his first season in the league. Playoff hopes will rest on this player and his skills.

Stock Falling 📉

Karel Plášek, LW, HC Olomouc (Pittsburgh Penguins)

Karel Plášek decided to return to his Czech Extraliga club, and last spring, he helped them reach the playoffs. Then he made a return to North America and struggled to earn much playing time with the Vancouver Canucks before a trade sent him to the Penguins. Just a day after the trade, Plášek agreed with the Penguins to terminate his contract, as he was supposed to play in the ECHL, which he had no interest in doing.

So, he returned to Czechia. He hasn't done much on the scoresheet, with just eight points in 21 games. He picked up five points by the end of November, which was good since he'd just shown up at the end of October, but he's been floundering since. Big drop off for the Czech forward, hopefully he'll pick it up.

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This article is about:
NHL Prospects NHL Prospect Report Bili Tygri Liberec Bili Tygri Liberec HC Litvinov HC Olomouc HC Vitkovice Motor Ceske Budejovice Mountfield HK Czechia Marcel Barinka Liam Kirk Jachym Kondelik Oliver Okuliar Karel Plasek Jakub Rychlovský
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