One year after Filip Zadina was the top Czech forward available, Michal Teply comes into the 2019 NHL Draft as the top Czech player. But while Zadina was thought of. and ended up going, early in the draft, Teply shouldn’t hear his name called until the draft’s second day.
Teply combines a big frame with a knack for creating offence, but it’s the rest of the package that is lacking.
Birthplace: Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic
Date of birth: May 27, 2001
Position: Left Wing
Weight: 187 lbs.
Team: Bili Tygri Liberec
Unlike Zadina, Teply stayed in the Czech Republic where he made his debut at the senior level in the top two tiers of the country’s men’s league. He played in 15 games in the top division with Bili Tygri Liberec, and played the rest of the year with HC Benatky nad Jizerou where he put up respectable numbers.
The only draft-eligible player in the second division to outscore Teply needed 18 more games to put up one more point, while players who matched his point total needed 17 and 30 games more. He was a solid producer for his age, and that’s something that sticks out for people who like him as a prospect. When you see a player playing against men it takes some of the guess work out of the equation. Scouts are very much split in what he can bring. Some scouting reports say that he’s a natural goal scorer while others say the exact opposite.
Teply has a lot of skill and combines that with solid offensive instincts. His best attributes are stick handling and passing, but he’s also able to score himself. He has a solid wrist shot and quick release, but he’s better at creating for his teammates. His shot gets blocked a lot, and he needs to work on getting it through traffic. He sees the ice very well, and has the ability to move the puck in the right direction.
He gets good marks for being a leader, and steps up in the biggest games throughout his career. He’s someone who likes to be leaned on in those big games and will rack up lots of minutes. He’s big and strong but he’s not a physical player. However, he does use his strength well to create offensively. He uses his size to battle for pucks and to protect it when it’s on his stick.
He had a very good performance at the Gretzky Hlinka Cup, the Summer Under-18 tournament, where he had a goal and three assists in four games to put himself firmly in the draft radar, however he would only add one more goal at the Under-18 level in major tournaments in the season, and couldn’t get to that next level.
Between the World Under-18 tournament and the World Junior A Championship, he had one goal and three assists in 11 games. When most draft eligible players are making names for themselves in the tournament, Teply couldn’t distinguish himself on the scoresheet. His play did look better than the stat line may indicate, though.
There are also question marks about his skating. It is something that will need to be improved and while he’s not a bad skater, it’s something else that holds him back when being evaluated. He mainly needs to work on his quickness and acceleration.
Michal Teply wears #25 in the clip below
Teply is the kind of player who has had success because he’s bigger than most of his opponents, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the skill as his statistics in the men’s league show.
He seems like a prospect who will adjust to the smaller ice well, and has middle-six upside as a forward at the NHL level.
Rankings (not all rankings are final)
Dobber Prospects: #65
Future Considerations: #63
Hockey Prospect: #85
NHL Central Scouting: #14 (European skaters)
Pronman/The Athletic: #66
McKeen’s Hockey: #46
We’ve gone through a lot of the ups and downs of Teply’s profile and scouting reports and they are reflected in his rankings where he looks to be just outside the second round, and into the third round.
For a team that takes him in that range, he’s a swing for the fences. He’s an offensive player and he’s worth taking a gamble on. The flashes of offence in his game make him intriguing, and he has the size profile that works as well. He can take the time he needs to develop more, and will likely play a bigger role in the top division next season.
No prospect is perfect and we tend to focus on their flaws, especially as we get into the second and third rounds but there are still a lot of good hockey players to be found in that range and Teply is a guy who, in a few years, we may be wondering why he didn’t go higher.