With their first selection in the 2024 NHL Draft, the Los Angeles Kings selected, Czech defenseman, Jakub Dvorak.
Dvorak is a big, shutdown defenseman. At 6-foot-5, 203 pounds, Dvorak is one of the biggest skaters in this draft.
He’s a mature player with big concerns about his skating. There’s some work to do, but if he irons out those deficiencies he can be a reliable middle-pair defenseman who kills penalties and physically imposes himself.
There isn’t much offense in his game, but he has a solid first pass and rarely makes costly mistakes.
What the Experts Are Saying:
Scott Wheeler, The Athletic: “He’s a 6-foot-5, steadying defenseman who can kill penalties, has played tough matchups internationally, and can really shoot it when he steps into his slap shot. His skating is among the worst in the draft though, and a major impediment against the rush, where he frequently gets turned around and caught in his pivots.”
Chris Peters Flo Hockey: “At 6-foot-5, he’s hard to get around and he’s able to take care of his own zone well. While he makes a good first pass, his offensive skill is limited. Additionally, his skating needs a lot of work.”
Corey Pronman, The Athletic: “His offensive totals don’t jump out at you, but Dvorak is a solid two-way defenseman. He’s a big, smart defender who makes a lot of stops due to his reach, brain and work ethic. ”
Kings Add Size:
The Kings lack size and snarl in the system, both at forward and defense, and Dvorak adds both.
He isn’t a flashy pick and isn’t going to become a superstar, but you need players like Dvorak to win.
Because of his skating deficiencies, I wouldn’t expect him in the NHL anytime soon.