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PROSPECT PROFILE: David Kase

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
Over the last 15 to 20 years, most of the better NHL prospects from the Czech Republic and Slovakia have left their home countries while in their teenage years to gain major junior experience at the Canadian Hockey League level (Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League or Western Hockey League) or else seek high-level training elsewhere in Europe, often in Sweden.


David Kase, the Flyers’ fifth-round pick (128th overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft, is one of the exceptions. The player, who is signed with Czech Extraliga club Pirati Chomutov (KLH Chomutov) has chosen to honor his contract with his home club. Kase was selected by the Ontario Hockey League's Niagara IceDogs in the first round of the 2015 CHL Import Draft.

One year earlier, he was picked by the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the 2014 CHL Import Draft. Additionally, he was chosen by Russian team Avtomobilist Yekaterinaburg in the third round of the 2014 KHL Draft. He politely declined all three teams and remained at home instead with Chomutov.

It is not that Kase has no NHL ambitions. On the contrary, he attended the NHL Scouting Combine last year and also took part in the Flyers Annual Development camp in July. The young forward, who speaks limited English at this point, said that his goal is to someday play for the Flyers.

Teenage players such as Kase often face a dilemma in their home league. Kase has already proven himself too advanced to play in the Czech junior league, yet it is often difficult to find ice time at the Extraliga level. The alternative is to be loaned to a minor league (Division 1) team. While the caliber of competition at the Czech Division I level is not particularly high, it at least affords the young player a chance to play against grown men.

This season, Kase dressed in 30 Extraliga regular season games for the Chomutov senior team. As expected, he received limited ice time in a fourth line role, chipping in one goal and one assist. In order to get more playing time, Kase was loaned to Div. 1 team SK Kadan for 16 games. He produced eight goals, six assists and 14 points.  Kase also dressed in one J20 (under-20 league) game for the Chomutov junior squad, registering an assist.

Listed at 5-foot-10 and 159 pounds last year, Kase is often one of the smallest players on the ice. What he lacks in size, however, he makes up for in competitive moxie, hockey sense and quickness.

“David plays a real honest game. He's a little pit bull; he just needs to get a little bigger. Right now, he's a pit bull in a poodle's body,” Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said. “He plays and competes. He's just a dog out there, [meaning] he hounds the puck. The skill level is there. He is a smart player. He stays on the right side of the puck. He needs to get stronger. For where we got him in the draft and his upside, we're very happy. He's a great kid and he just loves to play the game.”

Kase, who turned 19 on Jan. 28, also has natural leadership abilities.
 
In 2014-15, he captained the Czech national Under-18 team at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships and also played in his first World Junior Championship. This season, he served as an alternate captain for the Czech squad at the 2015-16 IIHF Under-20 World Under Championships where he contributed one assist in five games but was one of his team’s most consistent overall performers.

“The one game I saw, he was outstanding,” Hextall said. “He didn't end up with a point but he was outstanding. He had three or four opportunities.”

On March 7, Chomutov began the Extraliga playoffs. Kase was in the lineup, skating 6:42 of ice time over 10 shifts. Chomutov defeated HC Komet Brno in overtime by a 3-2 score to take a one game to zero lead in the best-of-five series.
 

For more on Flyers prospects playing in the NCAA, junior and European hockey leagues see below…

CANADIAN HOCKEY LEAGUE

PLAYER POS. HT. WT. AGE HOMETOWN DRAFT 2015-16 TEAM GP G A P
Nicolas Aube-Kubel RW 5'11" 200 19 Slave Lake. Alberta 2014 Val d'Or (QMJHL) 56 35 42 77
Samuel Dove-McFalls LW 6'2" 197 18 Montreal, Quebec 2015 Saint John (QMJHL) 23 5 5 10
Radel Fazleev C 6'0" 194 19 Kazan, Russia 2014 Calgary Hitmen (WHL) 54 18 45 63
Travis Konecny RW 5'10" 177 18 London, Ontario 2015 Ottawa 67's (OHL) 56 26 64 90
Philippe Myers D 6'5" 196 18 Dieppe, New Brunswick Undrafted Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL) 58 17 26 43
Ivan Provorov D 6'0" 201 18 Yaroslavl, Russia 2015 Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) 57 19 46 65
Travis Sanheim D 6'3" 198 19 Elkhorn, Manitoba 2014 Calgary Hitmen (WHL) 47 11 45 56

NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

PLAYER POS. HT. WT. AGE HOMETOWN DRAFT 2015-16 TEAM GP G A P
Terrance Amorosa D 6'1" 185 20 Kirkland, Quebec 2013 Clarkson University 25 4 12 16
David Drake D 6'3" 185 20 Naperville, Illinois 2013 University of Connecticut 25 0 5 5
Mark Friedman D 5'11" 185 19 Toronto, Ontario 2014 Bowling Green State University 38 4 16 20
Cooper Marody RW 6'0" 177 18 Brighton, Michigan 2015 Michigan University 26 10 11 21
Reece Willcox D 6'4" 204 21 Surrey, British Columbia 2012 Cornell University 30 2 11 13

EUROPE

PLAYER POS. HT. WT. AGE HOMETOWN DRAFT 2015-16 TEAM GP G A P
David Kase C 5'11" 164 18 Kadan, Czech Republic 2015 SK Kadan (WSM Liga) 16 6 8 14
David Kase C 5'11" 164 18 Kadan, Czech Republic 2015 Pirati Chumotov (Czech Extraliga) 30 1 1 2
Oskar Lindblom F 6'1" 192 19 Gavle, Sweden 2014 Brynas (SweHL) 48 8 17 25
Mikhail Vorobyov C 6'2" 194 18 Ufa, Russia 2015 Toplar (MHL) 21 6 17 23
Mikhail Vorobyov C 6'2" 194 18 Ufa, Russia 2015 Salavet Yulaev (KHL) 28 2 1 3

GOALTENDERS

GOALTENDER HT. WT. AGE HOMETOWN 2015-16 TEAM
GP W L OT SO GAA SV%
Ivan Fedotov 6'6" 192 18 St. Petersburg, Russia Reaktor (MHL) 29 18 5 4 0 2.22 .910
Merrick Madsen 6'4" 177 20 Preston, Indiana Harvard University 24 15 5 3 4 1.94 .932
Felix Sandstrom 6'2" 196 18 Gavle, Sweden Brynas (SweHL) 24 10 12 2 0 2.65 .902
Matej Tomek 6'3" 180 18 Bratislava, Slovakia North Dakota University - - - - - - -
*All stats are through games on March 8
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