Montreal went with back-to-back wingers with the second of their back-to-back picks. While Luke Tuch is more of a power forward, Jan Myšák is first and foremost a goal-scorer, who is both smart and skilled enough to project as a future NHL caliber player.
Myšák has played a fair bit of center at the junior level, though scouts seem fairly convinced that he is more suited to be a winger in today’s pro-level game.
Birthplace: Litvinov, Czech Republic
Date of birth: June 24, 2002
Weight: 181 lbs.
Team: Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
Myšák has scored goals wherever he’s been. In January, he left his home town club HC Litvinov to play OHL hockey with the Hamilton Bulldogs. He settled in to Ontario quickly with 15 goals and 10 assists in the 22 games he managed to play before COVID-19 struck.
He does not possess an elite shot when compared to higher drafted prospects like Alexander Holtz or Jacob Perrault, but his mechanics are solid and his release is quick. This, together with his accuracy, combine to qualify his shot as still being one of his main offensive assets.
More of a shooter than a playmaker, Myšák excels when he gets to play a north-south style of hockey. His skating right now projects best as NHL average but he compensates by having spatial awareness and by at least being explosive off his stride in his OHL environment.
In short, he may not blaze by defencemen with pure speed moving forward, but he sets himself up well positionally in the offensive zone to succeed one way or another.
He is, like many other prospects in the 2020 NHL Draft, considered to be a player with some hockey IQ to his name. His forechecking abilities are also well-developed. Overall, Myšák is not an offence-only kind of winger. His overall hockey sense and his ability to read the game makes him well suited for a future playing a solid 200 ft game of hockey. See him as a middle-six winger with scoring ability and the potential to chip in on both special teams.
Our own Patrik Bexell was quick to dig up a post-draft quote from one of his Czech sources on what Montreal can expect from their freshest selection moving forward:
“Had one of the best transitions in Czech team WJC (winger), good skater, can generate speed which helps him create breakaway chances. Solid forechecker, responsible backchecker. Sometimes lost his position/player in DZ (when he played as C). Can make plays or shoot. Really like his confidence, reliable. He is going to be a leader and a reliable first-liner this year.”
Elite Prospects: #32
Future Considerations: #16
Hockey Prospect: #26
McKeen’s Hockey: #27
NHL Central Scouting: #28 (North American skaters)
Jan Myšák was widely considered a late first-round selection among the majority of draft analysts. I’m not sure that he was someone that the Canadiens’ front office originally had their eyes on in the middle of the second round, but there was overall good value to pick him where they did. He was the only player projected in the first round who was left on the board when he was picked. Why didn’t other franchises draft him? Impossible to know at this point. You could choose to look at his fall to pick #48 as a warning sign or as a potential second-round steal by Montreal, depending on if you’re a glass half-full or a glass half-empty kind of person.
The Canadiens did not have an abundance of young, talented wingers in their system coming into today’s Draft. We know that they have a plethora of playmakers, but few who can finish off plays. With that in mind, it was probably a combination of organizational need and best player available that made Bergevin and Trevor Timmins pull the trigger.
Back in June, I wrote the scouting report on Myšák and during that process, I felt that I wouldn’t be upset if Montreal selected him in the teens or as a trade back into the end of the first round. To be able to stay put and get him at 48 is, from my perspective, a win for the Canadiens and their front office.