The Montreal Canadiens have had success drafting goaltenders in later rounds of the NHL Draft, and the next one to join the organization is fifth-round pick Jakub Dobeš.
Birthplace: Havirov, Czech Republic
Date of birth: May 27, 2001
Weight: 201 lbs.
Team: Omaha Lancers (USHL)
Dobeš was born in the Czech Republic but moved to the United States for the 2017-18 season. He played two years of Under-18 AAA hockey in St. Louis before moving to the NAHL. The 2018-19 season was his first big step forward, and he made his NAHL debut. Last season was his first full season in the NAHL and he also made his USHL debut with the Omaha Lancers.
The thing that jumps out is that after an adjustment period, his numbers improve dramatically. His second years at the same level show dramatic improvement from the previous year. In his first Missouri high school post-season experience, he went 6-1 with a 1.41 GAA and .932 save percentage.
By the start of the 2020 portion of the USHL season, he split the starting job in Omaha, and it’s not like the Lancers were a team that was struggling. They finished the USHL season in second place of the Eastern Division. He started 12 of the 24 games this calendar year for the Lancers.
In Omaha, there were a few connections to the Canadiens. Rhett Pitlick started the season there before he was traded to Muskegon. The Lancers’ head coach, David Wilkie, was the Canadiens first-round pick in 1992. Wilkie played 91 of his 167 career NHL games with Montreal, scoring eight goals and adding 14 assists.
Dobeš represented the Czech Republic at the World Junior A Challenge, where the team was quite outmatched. In four games, he had 3.09 goals-against average and .894 save percentage. The team finished fourth.
Dobeš committed to Ohio State University in October of 2019, although when he will start playing there is up in the air. Hockey Prospect says they expect him to have another year in the USHL, but obviously it’s a fluid situation due to the pandemic. Dobes graduated from high school in June.
On the ice, Dobeš is a big body, but technically has some work to do. He looks quick and athletic, however his movements are not as fluid as you are used to seeing at higher levels or with top prospects.
Despite being 6’4”, Dobeš plays a style that keeps him low. There are some small adjustments he can make to look even more smooth in the crease. When he’s in position, he doesn’t let much through him and his body doesn’t let pucks squeak through when he gets a piece on it. He was ranked the number-20 goaltender in North America by NHL Central Scouting. Scouts rave about his athleticism, even though he’s very raw technically. He has a lot of talent, but not a lot of high-level experience. Getting the chance at the NCAA level, even if he’s not playing regularly right away, will be a good challenge.
The Canadiens won’t have to make a contract decision on him until August, 2025 which gives him a lot of time to develop.