A source close to HC Škoda Plzeň has told Eyes on the Prize that the Montreal Canadiens have signed defencemen Michal Moravčík and David Sklenička from the team.
Both players were part of the Czech team in the recent World Championships in Denmark. While they were expected to be there to be part of the team, they ended up being cornerstones of the Czech team that was knocked out of the quarterfinals by the USA.
The Czech team has confirmed the news.
Both players had interest from the KHL but chose to sign with the Montreal Canadiens instead. Both players will probably go to Laval Rocket for development and an adjustment to the North American game.
Moravčík is 23 years old and is a left-handed defenceman. He is 6’4, 212 and had five goals and 11 assists in 52 games. He added three goals and four assists in 10 playoff games and had a goal and two assists in eight games at the World Championships. He has played 189 career games in the Czech Extraliga (11G-28A-39P) at the senior level.
Sklenička is only 21 years old, and despite his age has already played 148 games in the Extraliga (10G-21A-31P). He is also a left-handed shot and is 5’11, 181. He had three goals and 11 assists in 49 games this season. He added a goal and an assist in 10 playoff games. He had two assists in eight games at the World Championships.
This is a path that Marc Bergevin likes to take. He has signed Jakub Jerabek and Jiri Sekac, both Czech players from the KHL, as well as being in the mix for players such as Michal Kempny, Artemi Panarin, and Vadim Shipachyov.
Some of the moves work out better than others, but there is little risk in bringing players like this over.
UPDATE: The Canadiens have made the signings official. It is a two-year entry-level deal for Moravčík and a
three-year contract for Sklenička.
(Update on the update, the Canadiens have clarified that Sklenička also signed a two-year contract)