Saturday, August 3, 2013

Prospect Profile: Petr Straka

Petr Straka
Another free agent acquisition by Paul Holmgren has a chance to prove himself this upcoming year. Petr Straka is a 92 born Czech forward, who was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2nd round of the 2010 entry draft. Before being drafted, Straka was coming off a great rookie season in the QMJHL with Rimouski Oceanic, where he finished with 64 points in 62 games played. He was second on his team in scoring as a 17 year old. But the following two years were riddled with injuries and he reportedly grew out of favor with his coach. His point totals were down, as he finished with 25 points in his second year and 37 the following season. Though he had a good playoff in his final year with Rimouski, scoring 10 goals and adding 12 assists in 21 games, his decline in play was steep enough for Columbus to not offer him a contract.

Straka reentered the draft in 2012, but was not selected. He had offers to attend some NHL camps, but those were quickly off the table due to the lockout. So Straka returned to the QMJHL as an overager and was traded from Rimouski to Baie-Comeau. In his overage season with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, Straka returned to form. He led the team in scoring with 41 goals and 41 assists, totaling 82 points in 55 games played. He added 25 more points in 19 playoff games before Baie-Comeau fell to Halifax in the finals. On April 11, during that playoff run, Straka was signed to an entry level contract by the Flyers.

Petr Straka is a right winger who is very gifted offensively. He has a great shot, good speed, and a slick pair of hands. The crafty forward has shown he can score at the junior level and also set up goals. He has a lot of areas that need improvement though. He needs to work on his two way game as well as his strength and physical play. He also needs to be more consistent. Because of these flaws, Straka is best suited for a top six role and will likely get that with Adirondack next season. If he is able to continue to score and show growth in other aspects of the game, Straka may have a chance to be called up to the Flyers at some point.

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