2021-22 Team: BK Mladá Boleslav (Czechia)
DOB: Sep. 18, 2003
Place of Birth: Havlickuv Brod, CZE
Ht: 6-foot Wt: 190 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 Draft Eligible
In the modern era, NHL defensemen are mostly defined by their ability to impact the game at both ends of the ice. A “modern day defenseman” is one that plays quality defense in their own zone, but then can join the attack on offense and essentially become a fourth forward on the ice, such as 2022 Norris Trophy winner Cale Makar. Defensemen that fit this description tend to dominate conversations about who the best defensemen in the league are, but that does not mean that there aren’t other types of defensemen that are worth their while.
Related: 2022 NHL Draft Guide
One such defenseman is David Moravec, a Czech defender who takes pride in his play in his own zone. While he is not a behemoth on the back end, he is seemingly able to be everywhere in the defensive zone using his mobility and adept positioning. To that point, the name of the game when it comes to this player is positioning. In his own zone, he does a great job of boxing out opposing forwards while also making sure not to screen his own goalie. He puts himself in a position to break up plays and block shots, and he efficiently gets the puck up the ice and out of the zone when he has the opportunity.
While Moravec is mobile, he is not a swift skater. In a fast-paced attack, his best play is to move the puck up ice quickly rather than lead the attack himself. Generally speaking, he uses his feet well. He steers opposing forwards into the boards as he backs into his own zone, and he seems to be able to move just as well east to west as he can move north to south. If he recognizes a play, he is almost always able to effectively use his feet and stick to break it up. He is a quality defender, and his defensive awareness and abilities are likely what will get him drafted.
In the offensive zone, Moravec is not lost, but there isn’t the same promise that his defensive game shows. He has been utilized as a power play quarterback over the course of this season, and his puck-moving abilities are what have led to the success he has found in that role. He is not that “fourth forward” on the ice; rather, he is a facilitator that looks to find an open man and simply keep the play alive. This season while playing in the top league in Czechia, he managed four points (all assists) through 40 games. He is content to let his forwards create opportunities while he hangs back and patrols the blue line. Perhaps the best part of his offensive game is that he knows his limits and he plays within his means. It won’t be too often that you’ll be frustrated with him because he was over-aggressive in the offensive end.
Aside from his defensive game, his best asset is between his ears. He plays a responsible, smart game that coaches will love. If he can continue to play that way while also developing his skills, he should have little trouble carving out a role for himself as he faces tougher competition in the future.
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David Moravec – NHL Draft Projection
As it is right now, it seems like Moravec will hear his name called sometime between the third and sixth rounds of the draft. He isn’t on many rankings, and this profile may be the first time you’re even hearing (or reading) his name. Usually that means that the prospect in question is going to be a late round pick at best. However, given his strong defensive game and his projectable qualities, he could be a draft riser – it wouldn’t be the craziest thing in the world if a team took him towards the end of the second round. Still, you shouldn’t expect to hear his name until late in the third round, at the earliest.
“He is able to adjust early and win the body and stick position. He was strong on his skates when battling against bigger opponents. Defending in front of his net, Moravec has a good body position and ties up opponents stick right after shot so he does not allow any offensive rebound.” – Miroslav Simurka, FC Hockey
“While Moravec may not be producing at the level that Jiricek is in the Czech men’s league, he is still a potential Top 100 selection at the draft this year. He was a real standout at the most recent U18’s. His four-way quickness and vision with the puck make him a potential powerplay quarterback, although he is not likely to get the opportunity to showcase that at [the World Junior Tournament] given the defenders ahead of him on the depth chart.” – Brock Otten, McKeen’s Hockey
- Defensive IQ
- Four-way skating
- Top speed
- Overall upside
- Offensive production
As an NHL player, Moravec likely tops out as a bottom-pairing, defensive-minded defenseman on the left side. His offensive game isn’t explosive, so that limits how many minutes he could potentially play. However, his defensive game is already in a solid place, and if it continues to develop, he could become a top-notch penalty killer for his team. If he reaches his max potential, he’ll become something of an unsung hero for his team.
Risk – 1/5, Reward – 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 3/10, Defense – 7.5/10
I am a Western Michigan University alum whose passion for hockey knows no limits. Dr. Pepper enthusiast. Catch me and my fellow Red Wings writers’ YouTube show “The Hockey Writers Grind Line” which drops every Saturday.