2024 NHL Draft

Film Room: Adam Jiříček can't escape comparisons to brother David, but do they have merit?

Adam Jiříček entered the season near the top of our watch list, with the assumption that he would prove himself to be one of if not the premier defensive prospect in the 2024 NHL Draft. That hasn't happened.

Much like his brother David Jiříček before him, Adam played the first half of his season for HC Plzeň in Czechia’s top professional men's league in a season that was supposed to be interrupted by the World Juniors that instead ended with a season-ending knee injury.

David ultimately recovered in time to wear his country's colours again at the World Championship in his draft year, erasing any doubt about the long-term effects of his injury. He reminded everyone of his talents and the Columbus Blue Jackets selected him sixth overall a month later.

Adam didn’t get the same chance at a comeback. His injury kept him out of his own end-of-season tournament, the Under-18s.

Only compounding matters is an early birthday, one that further complicates Adam's projection.

Contrary to his late birthday brother, who played almost a full season with HC Plzeň in front of NHL scouts in his draft-minus-one campaign, the June-born Adam spent the prior year mostly in the U20 circuit.

Not as physically mature as his brother nor as battle-tested, Adam Jiříček couldn't accumulate as many strong performances in Czech Extraliga before the World Juniors, leaving evaluators with more unanswered questions. The international tournaments would’ve been his best chance to showcase his abilities against his own age group. Instead, he has been forced to watch from the sidelines as other players continue to improve, perform well internationally, and climb past him on draft lists.

But letting Jiříček fall too far on draft lists would be a mistake. Yes, his projection is clouded in uncertainty, but his potential is still very much there, shining through the fog.

Access this article with EP Premium

Go Premium to access this article

Register your Premium-membership at eliteprospects.com to get access to this article and more quality, in-depth coverage at EP Rinkside

This article is about:
2024 NHL Draft Czechia U18 Czechia U18 (all) Czechia U20 Czechia U20 (all) HC Plzen Czechia Adam Jiříček
Scoring Leaders