Vitek Vanecek

by Pat Quinn on October 8, 2016

 

Vitek Vanacek - Photo: www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com

 

Vitek Vanecek, G

Catches: L

Height: 6’0

Weight: 181

Born: 1996-01-09

Hometown: Havlickuv Brod, CZE

Drafted: 2014 by Washington Capitals, 39th overall

 

 

 

 

 

Observations:

October 2016 - Vanecek was sent down to Hershey as the AHL teams training camp opened to get him more time to practice as he battles for the starting role for the Bears. Vanecek played will in the prospect tournament where the Capitals brought a strong team in front of him. In exhibition play he started a game and played well as the Capitals were dominated by the Canadiens even though he allowed five goals. He also played a half game against Carolina only allowing one goal on 13 shots. He likely will split his first full AHL season as the Capitals brought in an experienced minor league goalie to give him competition and help him in tough times. He is still a while away from the NHL.  Pat Qunn

January 2016 - Vanecek was again the main goalie for the Czech team at the World Juniors and this time around he faired much better. He played in all five games recording a 0.881 save percentage and a 2.73 goals against average. The Czech's were routinely outmatched but played strong for most of the tournament aside from a few bad games which explains Vanecek's sub 0.900 sv%. He will continue to develop in the ECHL this season for the South Carolina Stingrays but he is still a while away before he can make an NHL mark. Pat Quinn

December 2015 – Vanecek was named the ECHL rookie of the month for November where he put up a 4-2-1 record, 1.26 goals against average, and a 0.946 save percentage. He has been a top goalie in the ECHL this year and for a 19=year old that is no small feat. He will again be the starter for an underdog Czech team at the World Juniors. He is progressing well but is still quite a ways away. Pat Quinn

Nov 2015 – Vanecek is having a transitional start to this season since coming over to play in North America. He is playing for the Capitals’ ECHL team, the South Carolina Stingrays, as they look to give him the longer, but more structured, development process. In the eight games played he has a 0.906 save percentage, three wins and one shut out. His first five games started slow, as he sported a 0.880 SV%, but he has since rebounded some to improve his numbers. Remember he is only 19 years old so there is plenty of time for him to develop. Pat Quinn

Sept 2015 – Vanecek has been sent to the AHL to attend the Hershey Bears camp where he will be battling all year to be the starter. He will be battling Dan Ellis and Justin Peters for the starting role in Hershey. Do not be surprised if he is sent down to the ECHL however, as the Bears may want a more experienced tandem in net, and he may play more games in the ECHL than he would if he is no the starter in the AHL. Pat Quinn

May 2015 – Vanacek had an inconsistent 2014-2015 season. He was poor on the big stage of the world juniors, but managed to use the experience to better his game later in the season. He mainly played in the Czech2 league for HC Benatky nad Jizerou here he posted a 0.925 sv% in 20 games, flashing his potential. For his two games in the top Czech league he played very well and posted a 0.943 sv%. Recently in April he was with the Hershey Bears for about a week to work on his game and development for the 2015 training camp under the tutelage of Mitch Korn and his partners. He is still a long term project but the wait could be worthwhile. Pat Quinn

January 2014 – A poor showing for Vanecek at the Wold Juniors as he was expected to carry this team through games where they were outmatched. Instead, he put up a save percentage of .829 in three games and was replaced by Miroslav Svoboda for the remainder of the tournament. He will look to rebound back in the Czech2 league and will hopefully be in top form when he returns for the Czech’s next year.Pat Quinn

November 2014 – Vanecek has moved around in a lot of leagues this year. With a save percentage (SV%) of 0.938 in three games for Bili Tygri Liberec U20 in the Czech20 league, Vanecek was promoted to the Czech2 league to again play for HC Benatky nad Jizerou. In 12 games he has a 0.926 SV% and an impressive 2.12 GAA. He so far has a better save percentage then any time in his career. In the Czech Republic O19 tournament he was not scored on in two games and in the U20 tournament he held a 0.938 SV% in four games. He will be relied upon heavily for the Czech team to have a hope in the world junior tournament. Pat Quinn

September 2014 – Vanecek was loaned to HC Benatky nad Jizerou of the Czech2 league where he will be the starter. He is also looking to play well enough during the season to become the starter for the Czech Republic national junior team at the World Junior Championship in December. Of note the Capitals signed him to a three year entry level deal almost immediately after drafting him, showing commitment early which is something rarely seen by teams when goalies are drafted. Pat Quinn

 

Fantasy Outlook: C+

Vanecek is a smaller goalie with loads of skill. Still quite raw with consistency issues, but the talent is there to develop into an NHL goaltender.

 

Footage:

Interview with Vanecek, interpreted by fellow countryman and Capitals pick Jakub Vrana

 

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