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Top 25U25: Athletic but inconsistent goaltender Jakub Skarek is #18

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Jakub Skarek is one of the top goalie prospects from the 2018 NHL Draft, but like all goalies, he’s got some big question marks.

2018 NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
Skarek signed his ELC this summer but will play with the Pelicans in Liiga.
Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Jakub Skarek is regarded as one of the top goalie prospects from the 2018 NHL Draft and for good reason. His numbers in the Czech league have been very good for an 18 year old, and he’s 6’3” and very athletic. All things to like out of a goalie for the future.

At 18, Skarek had a .913 sv% in 21 games in the Czech league, and a .942 in 10 games in the Czech2 league. However, in international play, he’s struggled. Regardless of the level, he’s had trouble playing with his Czech Republic team, and has especially struggled at the World Juniors, where it’s best on best. He’ll likely have another shot at the World Juniors this year, but it’s a worrying trend when you look for top prospects to shine at the tournament.

He’ll be attending Islanders pre-season camp, but his 2018-19 season will be spent with the Pelicans in the Finnish Liiga. A move away from the Czech league will hopefully help him find consistency in his game both in pro leagues and internationally.

Jenny Spizzwolf Noel Fogelman Travis Flynn CIL Mike B
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LHH HockeyGoalieEh garik16 Dominik Steve
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For Skarek, finding that consistency will be his biggest issue. At times, he’s shown he’s an extremely capable goaltender. His international numbers are very worrying, and may be a signal of a larger issue, so it’ll be something to keep an eye on going forward. With size and athleticism, if he continues developing he should become a very good goaltender, but as always with goalies, it’s so hard to project.

Rationales

HockeyGoalieEh:

Skarek has put up similar save percentages to Sorokin when adjusted for league equivalencies, but is four years younger and with a better chance of coming over.

Dominik:

I don't mind the selection but goalies are just so hard to project, so I left him out of my top 25. It's good that he's done well at a young age against older players, but...

Mike B:

Pronman considered him the best goalkeeper in this draft class. He has size, athleticism, and excellent results in club play... but in international best-on-best tournaments, has often struggled. Considering that he's not even 19, Skarek has time to shake that all off. He's likely to be at the World Juniors again this winter, and we'll see how much he's progressed.

Previously

#19 Skill and size but speed questions for Otto Koivula

#20 A make or break year for Michael Dal Colle

#21 Questions about Anatoly Golyshev

#22 New left wing Blade Jenkins

#23 Switzerland’s Yannick Rathgeb

#24 Young Finn Robin Salo

#25 Solid defenseman Kyle Burroughs

The Roster Cuts