We think there’s upside here, but to us the risk-reward factor we felt when we analyzed it favours upside without a great deal of risk. We’ll see. We think this is a smart, sensible signing with upside in a position that we want to continue to build and add depth. - Brad Treliving
CALGARY, AB -- Brad Treliving isn’t ready to declare how Jakub Nakladal will fit into the picture on the blue line of the Calgary Flames just yet.
Instead, the Flames GM suggested it’s up to Nakladal to determine.
“He’s a guy that our guys liked,” Treliving said. “Where he fits, training camp will determine that. We look at this as we think there’s some upside there. There are always questions with players that have spent their careers in Europe in terms of transition and how long that will take. He’s a solid person. He keeps himself in great shape. But we’ll see. Training camp, preseason will determine where he slots in. We talked about continuing to add depth to the blue line. This is that.
“We think there’s upside here, but to us the risk-reward factor we felt when we analyzed it favours upside without a great deal of risk. We’ll see. We think this is a smart, sensible signing with upside in a position that we want to continue to build and add depth.”
Nakladal, 27, signed a one-year, two-way entry-level contract with Calgary on Tuesday.
A native of Pardubice, Czech Republic, Nakladal spent the 2014-15 season with TPS Turku of the SM-Liiga. In 50 games, he recorded three goals, 15 points, and 63 PIMs. The six-foot-two, 205-pound blueliner also represented the Czech Republic at the 2015 IIHF World Championships where he led all Czech defencemen with five assists in 10 games.
“Against really good competition he showed well,” Treliving said. “When our people spoke with the Czech people, (he was) probably the most reliable player over the course of the tournament. Watching him specifically over the past three weeks and speaking with him, all the reports checked out in terms of the character.”
Prior to playing for TPS Turku, Nakladal spent four seasons in the KHL, recording two goals and 20 points in 117 games.
“He’s a good-sized, right shot defender,” Treliving described. “He can move a puck, he’s got a big shot, but his game is a defending type of game with the ability to make simple plays, simple outlet plays. I don’t want to confuse him with a guy who’s going to take the puck from one end to the other, but he’s a solid, stable defender.”
Nakladal reportedly garnered interest from several NHL teams, including the Chicago Blackhawks and Carolina Hurricanes, before choosing the Flames.
“The number one thing for a player is opportunity. Where is the best opportunity?” Treliving said. “You walk them through, very honestly, where you see him fitting in. You’re honest in terms of the assessment on where you think his game is, the strengths and weaknesses of his game, where our depth chart is organizationally. In a lot of sense it’s up to the player.
“As long as they hold up their end of the bargain, which is playing well and coming in in good condition, that if they do that we hold up our end of the bargain which is there is opportunity if he earns it and deserves it.
“The player will tell you over the course of training camp where he’s going to fit.”