One of the biggest surprises from Canucks Prospect Development Camp may just be Lukas Jasek. The sixth round, 174th overall pick, at the 2015 NHL Draft is one of the fastest players on the ice, but has also impressed off the ice during fitness testing and workouts.
“He has speed and skill,” said Canucks’ Director of Player Development, Stan Smyl. “He looks very light on his skates. But what we have been most impressed with is his off-ice work. He has been one of the top conditioned guys here. He has a lot of talent in general.”
Jasek split the 2014-15 season between the Czech Extraliga, the top pro league in the Czech Republic, and the Czech U20 league. At the U20 level he posted 27 points (10-17-27) in 24 games. At the pro level he registered two assists in 27 games, playing limited minutes.
“Next year is going to be real important for him,” said Smyl. “He will be playing in a very good men’s league in the Czech Republic. He didn’t play a lot in that league last year, but next year they are expecting him to play a lot as he goes through the season.”
Not only will it be an important year for his development, Jasek, who mentions Claude Giroux as a player he styles his game after, will also have an important decision to make following the season.
“He will have to decide on whether he will come over to North America or not,” said Smyl. “He could go into the CHL Import Draft and play a season of junior.”
Jasek, who doesn’t turn 18 until August 28th, is also a candidate to represent the Czech Republic at the 2016 World Juniors. He netted seven points (4-3-7) in five games for the Czech U18 team at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka and also appeared in five games for the team at the 2015 World Under-18s.
Being a later round pick, there is no need to rush him. He has the speed. He has the tools. He has the flowing hair. He will need to add some weight to his current 165-pound frame, but with his work ethic, that will come.