2012 NHL Draft Scouting Report: Radek Faksa
This year was my first year seeing Radek Faksa live. Drafted 22nd overall to Kitchener in the 2012 CHL Import Draft, Faksa quickly became one of the top draft eligible player in the Ontario Hockey League. In my initial viewings, I loved his willingness to play a physical, aggressive brand of hockey, despite the fact that it was his first year in the League. He quickly adjusted to the North American style, and despite a few hiccups in regards to discipline, really found his niche with the Rangers. He may be a prime example of how important it is for some imports to come to North America in their draft year. Had Faksa stayed in Trinec, I’m not sure if he would have had the same level of coaching and development that he had this year in Kitchener.
What impresses the most about Faksa is his North American style of play mixed in with his European skill level. From the start of the season he showed a willingness to bang and crash. He played extremely aggressive down low and along the boards, and at one point it looked like he was a liability due to a lack of discipline. Once he found a perfect niche, he thrived. Outside of his aggressiveness, his other strong attributes are his strength down low and along the boards. He is very strong at wining puck battles, using his frame to shield out opposition defenders and move the puck into a their percentage area of the ice. He makes some very impressive and crisp passes in the offensive zone. He is a very strong skater who shows above average footwork and mobility. He accelerates quickly and displays strong outside speed. He can either drive the net and create an offensive opportunity, or draw in a forward to open up a passing lane and thread a tape to tape pass. To this point he is one of the more NHL ready prospects for the NHL Draft, and projects out as a solid top 6 forward at the next level.
Like most prospects, Faksa does have some areas to work on. First and foremost he needs to continue to work on his strength. He is well sized and uses his larger frame well at this level, but needs to continue to develop his body. If he wants to continue to be a strong and physical down low player at the NHL, he needs to continue to develop his physical strength. Secondly, Faksa does struggle at times in the faceoff circle. He does not often take important draws, and needs to work on getting lower and winning possession of the puck.
Individual skill Rankings (out of 10)
Skill : 7.5
Hockey Sense: 8
Positional Play: 7
Faksa projects out as a top 6 forward at the next level. He may not be a franchise level forward, but will be a strong complementary piece, and could be in the NHL as soon as the start of the 2013 season.
Faksa is the rated as the fourth highest player in the Ontario Hockey League, and should be a 9th – 14th Overall selection for the NHL Draft.