1. Filip Hronek – GP:3 | G:2 | A:3 | P:5
Much like the end of the 18-19 NHL season, Hronek is truly pouring it on. At just 21-years-old, the 2016 NHL Draft pick (Thank you Pavel Datsyuk / Arizona) is showing just how important of a presence he will have with the upcoming season. Hronek currently leads all defenseman in the tournament in both goals, and points. On a Czech Republic team that only has two other NHL defenseman, (Radko Gudas Philadelphia Flyers, Jan Rutta Tampa Bay Lightning) Hronek has been given top minutes and boy has he ever excelled.
On a Detroit Red Wings team that is short of stellar defensive prospects, Hronek is one of the rare bright spots on the blue-line — playing as well as he is only bringing excitement for the upcoming season. I believe Hronek will deliver, especially as a top-four defenseman next year for the Detroit Red Wings’. As for right now, if you can watch a Czech Republic game, make sure to pay close attention to Hronek. He is playing nothing short of great.
One asset that Hronek has never been shy to use is his ability to shoot the puck. Hronek has a blistering one-timer which is something he has used exclusively on the power-play. With his offensive capabilities in check, Hronek only needs to continue to make the necessary progress in his zone.
As a quick skater and exceptionally smart passes, Hronek will be given every opportunity to solidify his case to receive top minutes with the Detroit Red Wings’. Where he will play specifically and with whom is unknown, but his potential is through the roof. So far this tournament, he has been making it look very easy.
Defensively he has made little to no mistakes thus far in the tournament but will be under the microscope when he plays against the likes of Russia, USA, and Canada. Hronek’s only goals have come against Norway, not any of the top-tier teams yet. He does hold 1-assist over the likes of Team Sweden. Regardless, Hronek is exciting to watch, and at just 21, the future looks bright.