With the 26th overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft the Montreal Canadiens have a chance to land any number of highly touted players, depending on the drafting ability of other franchises. One of those players is Jakub Zboril, who currently plays for the QMJHL's Saint John Sea Dogs.
The 6'2'' 185lbs Czech fits an immediate need in the Canadiens prospect pool, a defensemen. More specifically a puckmoving defensemen that has a left handed shot. Zboril spent most of his early career in the Czech Republic, playing for HC Kometa Brno's U16, U18, and U20 clubs. After winning a silver medal at the Ivan Hlinka tournament Zboril also made the QMJHL All-Rookie team. His first year saw him collect 33 points(13G 20A) in 44 games played, a 0.75 PPG pace.
Jakub Zboril is a smart, fleet-footed two-way defenseman that plays to his strengths in all three areas of the ice. While he doesn't aim to impress, he does all of the little things right and plays with an edge. The neutral zone is his launching pad: he is able to take off into the offensive end, or backcheck quickly into his own end. Very sound positionally. Smooth skater with lots of energy to burn. Not afraid to lay the body, or take a hit to make the play
A good two-way blue liner…plays a complete game and relies on his impressive footwork to maintain defensive coverage as well as put himself into the offensive play…has a good top speed and all-round mobility…has a dangerous point shot that is both accurate and hard.
Future Considerations: 20th
Hockey Prospect: 21st
Craig Button: 20th
Central Scouting Service, North American Skaters: 12th
With there being a lack of top end defensive prospects in the pipeline for the Habs, it seems like a no brainer to draft a quality defender like Zboril. The Czech defender is ranked anywhere from 12th to 21st in several draft rankings, meaning he could possible be off the board by the time the Habs pick.
The Habs should probably be seeking out a top defensemen in this draft, as former top picks begin to become NHL regulars. Zboril fills many needs within the prospect pool as a mobile defenseman who can move control the puck in all three zones. He doesn't have to pan out as an offensive juggernaut, but Zboril seems to be a safe bet and the Canadiens would be wise to snag him if he's still available.
The question remains, will a player as talented as Zboril stay on the board until the 26th pick?