Libor Hajek

by olafson1393 on September 22, 2017

 

Libor Hajek, D

 

Shoots: L

Height: 6-1

Weight: 205

Born: 1998-02-04

Hometown: Smrcek, CZE

Drafted: 2016 by the Tampa Bay Lightning, 37th overall

 

Observations:

September 2017 - After being pegged in my August 31-in-31 series as a player with a potentially diminishing fantasy value among Lightning prospects, Hajek has come into the NHL pre-season firing on all cylinders. In his second outing against the Hurricanes, Hajek was one of the most impressive players on the Lightning roster. Hajek plays with an active stick in the defensive zone, and was an effective penalty killer in his 4 minutes and 30 seconds of time on the kill. He's a fluid skater and can transition the puck quickly in the neutral zone to create offense. Hajek was cut by the Lightning after his second preseason game and returned to the Saskatoon Blades for his final year of junior - he'll be eligible for the AHL in 2018-19. Brayden Olafson

July 2017 – The Saskatoon Blades star defender’s rights were retained by his junior team, as well as fellow European Mark Rubinchik prior to the 2017 CHL Import draft. The declaration meant that the Blades would be unable to participate in the draft, as they did not hold the roster space to add another Euro skater. Blades general manager Colin Priestner said that, “…we feel Libor Hajek’s going to be one of the top defensemen in the league next year as a 19-year-old, and he’s a big part of our d-core.” It wouldn’t have been worth the risk for the Blades to participate in what he called a “frustrating” process (Import draft). Libor will certainly earn a look with the Lightning in training camp, and likely preseason action, however, has been bumped down in the Lightnings prospect pool with the acquisition of Mikhail Sergachev. Libor remains a valuable asset for the Lightning, but the Lightning are ensuring that he will be properly seasoned before they force him into a situation unfitting of his development. Brayden Olafson

February 2017 – Libor’s 2016 campaign has resulted in a notable improvement in offensive production. He has a firm grasp on the position of top blue-line prospect for the Lightning, however with Jake Dotchin being provided the current opportunity, he will likely be offered some AHL seasoning before another chance presents itself. The Lightning have some expensive defensive contracts coming off the books in the next two to three years so expect Libor to be first in line to take over when the time comes. Brayden Olafson

 

June 2016 – The Lightning traded up to take Hajek in the second round of the 2016 NHL draft. Hajek was the pick Tampa received for Anthony DeAngelo. Hajek is a two-way defender with some physical upside. Tends to ramp up his play when a game is on the line, but that can lead to poor decisions. Hajek will need to develop offensively and work on his decision-making in junior for a year or two. Max Marko

 

 

Fantasy Outlook: B-

Two-way middle pairing players with upside.

 

 

Footage:

2015-2016 Libor Hajek highlights

 

 

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