The Montreal Canadiens have further added depth to their prospect pool with the signings of Czech defencemen Michal Moravčík and David Sklenička earlier today. The pair have each been signed to two-year entry-level contracts at $925,000 plus signing bonuses. They will likely report to the Laval Rockets in the AHL at the beginning of the season.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) May 28, 2018
Michal Moravčík and David Sklenička sign with the Montreal Canadiens
Michal Moravčík and David Sklenička had their eyes on the KHL initially, but were swayed to come to Canada instead. Montreal general manager, Marc Bergevin, added two talented prospects who stood out in the World Championships as well as HC Plzen of the Czech Extraliga.
Moravčík is a 23-year-old solid defenceman with high potential and low risk. He’s not as tough as his size would suggest. Though he doesn’t throw the body very often, he still can stand up opponents and break up an offensive rush. Moravčík also doesn’t take many penalties which is good for the Canadiens. With Plzen, he posted five goals and 11 assists over the course of 52 games with a plus/minus rating of +25. The 6’4 blueliner had an excellent outing in the playoffs, recording three goals and four helpers in 10 games.
He made a name for himself during Worlds in Denmark this year. Aside from his one goal and two assists in eight games, he finished with a 5v5 Corsi of 64%, according to The Hockey Ninja. Moravčík showed off his impressive IQ with multiple smart breakout passes and accurate shooting from the point.
Sklenička is the smaller and quicker defenceman of the two. Standing at 5’11, he’s more agile than Moravčík and will often join an offensive rush. He will make some errors, however. He needs to work on reading defensive zones better, as he will cough up the puck or make a bad pass too often. Though he still has some development to be NHL-ready, he still is turning heads. While also playing for Plzen, the 21-year-old posted three goals and 11 assists throughout 49 games with a +17 rating. In the playoffs, Sklenička only recorded one goal and one assist in 10 games. His low numbers are not much of a testament to his ability being that he’s only 21 years old and playing in the highest league in the Czech Republic.
In the World Championships, he recorded two assists in eight games. One of his helpers came on a Moravčík goal. According to The Hockey Ninja, Sklenička posted a 56% Corsi during the tournament. He has high offensive potential but definitely needs to shore up his defensive game.
— Jared Book (@jaredbook) May 28, 2018
What This Means for Montreal
Bergevin has once again added younger prospects to Montreal’s pool. After signing free agent, Alexandre Alain, as well as draftees Jake Evans and Lucas Vejdemo (all centremen), he has bolstered the roster for Laval. Each player is expected to spend time in the AHL to develop their game. Moravčík is the closest to being NHL-ready but will probably still start the season with the Rockets. These players are all low-risk signings who each have potential to make an impact in Montreal one day.
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