Two first-round NHL draft picks and six A-rated prospects on NHL Central Scouting's players to watch list for the 2015 NHL Draft highlight the 32-man preliminary roster of players for the Czech Republic for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Highlighting the list of players are center Jakub Vrana (Washington Capitals, No. 13, 2014) and left wing David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins, No. 25 , 2014). They combined for two goals and five points in five games for the Czech Republic at the 2014 WJC in Sweden.
While Vrana has to be considered a lock to make the team, Pastrnak's availability is at question. He has played well in five games with the Bruins since making his NHL debut Nov. 24.
Vrana and Pastrnak are two of nine players on the roster drafted by NHL clubs; others include 2014 second-round choices Vaclav Karabacek (No. 49, Buffalo Sabres), Dominik Masin (No. 35, Tampa Bay Lightning) and Vitek Vanecek (No. 39, Washington Capitals).
Of the top prospects for the 2015 draft, one under close watch will be forward Pavel Zacha, who plays for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League. The first pick of the 2014 Canadian Hockey League import draft, Zacha is fifth among first-year OHL players with 17 points in 19 games. Another A-rated prospect under close watch is Filip Chlapik of the Charlottetown Islanders in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Chlapik currently ranks third in the league among rookies in scoring with 38 points (16 goals) in 30 games.
The Czech Republic, which will be coached by Miroslav Prerost, will begin training camp in Rokycany, Czech Republic, on Dec. 13. The roster will be trimmed Dec. 16, before the team travels to Napanee, Ontario, on Dec. 17. The Czechs have exhibition games scheduled against Finland on Dec. 19 and Slovakia on Dec. 23.
CZECH REPUBLIC NATIONAL JUNIOR TEAM PRELIMINARY ROSTER
GOALIES: Miroslav Svoboda, Trinec Jr., CZREP-JR. (2015 draft eligible); Vitek Vanecek, Liberec Jr., CZREP-JR. (Washington Capitals); Karel Vejmelka, Pardubice Jr., CZREP-JR. (2015 draft eligible); Daniel Vladar, Kladno, CZREP-2 (2015 draft eligible)
DEFENSEMEN: Marek Baranek, Litvinov Jr., CZREP-JR. (2015 draft eligible); Tomas Dvorak, Karlovy Vary Jr., RUS-JR. (2015 draft eligible); Lukas Klok, Vitkovice Steel, CZREP (2015 draft eligible); Jan Kostalek, Rimouski, QMJHL (Winnipeg Jets); Dominik Masin, Peterborough, OHL (Tampa Bay Lightning); David Nemecek, TPS Jr., FIN-JR (2015 draft eligible); Jan Scotka, Pardubice Jr., CZREP-JR. (2015 draft eligible); Jan Stencel, Vitkovice, CZREP (2015 draft eligible); Jakub Zboril, Saint John, QMJHL (2015 draft eligible)
FORWARDS: Filip Chlapik, Charlottetown, QMJHL (2015 draft eligible); Sebastian Gorcik, Karlovy Vary, CZREP (2015 draft eligible); Miroslav Indrak, Plzen Jr., CZREP-JR. (2015 draft eligible); Pavel Jenys, Sudbury, OHL (Minnesota Wild); David Kampf, Chomutov, CZREP-2 (2015 draft eligible); Vaclav Karabacek, Gatineau, QMJHL (Buffalo Sabres); David Kase, Chomutov, CZREP-2 (2015 draft eligible); Ondrej Kase, Chomutov, CZREP-2 (Anaheim Ducks); Dominik Kubalik, Plzen, CZREP (Los Angeles Kings); Jan Mandat, Val d'Or, QMJHL (2015 draft eligible); David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins; Roman Prikryl, Plzen Jr., CZREP-JR. (2015 draft eligible); Marek Ruzicka, Trinec, CZREP (2015 draft eligible); Michael Spacek, Pardubice, CZREP (2015 draft eligible); Lukas Vopelka, Orebro, SWE (2015 draft eligible); Daniel Vozenilek, Pardubice, CZREP (2015 draft eligible); Jakub Vrana, Linkoping, SWE (Washington Capitals); Pavel Zacha, Sarnia, OHL (2015 draft eligible); Patrik Zdrahal, Vitkovice Steel, CZREP (2015 draft eligible)