The Ontario Hockey League recently added two high profile European talents that were first-round selections in the 2019 Canadian Hockey League import draft. The two went head-to-head on Monday night in a makeup game from an earlier postponement due to bad weather. The second overall selection, Martin Chromiak, played his seventh game with the Kingston Frontenacs after joining the team from Slovakia. Meanwhile, Jan Mysak ranked #18 by Future Considerations for the 2020 NHL draft, played in just his second game since joining the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Mysak joined the Bulldogs from HC Litvinov of the Czech Extraliga and possesses a hard, accurate shot and tremendous offensive instincts. He is an above-average skater with an excellent overall understanding of the game. Since joining the Bulldogs, Mysak is skating on a line with Arthur Kaliyev, one of the leading scorers in the OHL. Although the chemistry is somewhat lacking, Mysak looked more comfortable in this game than he did in his first contest.
Late in the opening frame, Mysak unleashed a slapshot from just inside the blue line that found the back of the net for his first OHL goal.
However, it proved to be the only goal the Bulldogs managed on the night. I was impressed with his defensive zone awareness and effort on the backcheck. Now that he is playing in North America, I intend to watch more of his games. I am expecting his level of play to step-up as he becomes more confident in his new surroundings.
The Slovakian star signed with the Frontenacs following his surprising cut from the Slovakian World Junior Team.
His offensive instincts, playmaking ability and vision, were very evident in this game. Chromiak’s arsenal also consists of a very heavy wrist shot. However, it isn’t nearly as accurate a shot like that of Mysak, and he missed the net on a couple of opportunities. His chemistry with linemate and top-prospect Shane Wright was undeniable as Chromiak would saucer a pass to Wright for the overtime game-winning goal.
The move to come to the OHL should certainly give scouts ample opportunities to watch Chromiak play. If he continues to shine as he did in this game, his draft stock will definitely rise. His puck movement, particularly with the man advantage, was inspiring. On the other hand, his defensive zone awareness will need to improve, as will his first step and overall skating speed.
Rick Warman is a Vancouver Canucks and prospects contributor for Overtime Heroics. Follow him @statman1956 on Twitter
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