Columbus Blue Jackets' recent third-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, Stanislav Svozil, is coming to North America.
NEWS: The Pats are thrilled to announce the signing of 2020 CHL Import selection Stanislav Svozil to a Standard Player Agreement!— Regina Pats (@WHLPats) August 24, 2021
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Welcome to Regina Stanislav!#JoinTheRegiment pic.twitter.com/mRD6PoBsrp
Svozil, an 18-year old defenseman who recently signed his entry-level contract, was drafted 15th overall by the Regina Pats in the 2020 Canadian Hockey League's (CHL) Import Draft. It's not all that common for players taken in the import draft to make the move to the CHL, but it makes sense for Svozil. Most notably, the 6'1, 182-pound defender has already played in 71 career games over two seasons in the Czech Extraliga, the country's top professional league. He was named the league's Rookie Of The Year in 2019-20. Put another way, he may be ready for a new challenge.
But there's another reason that this otherwise minute transaction has some serious allure. By joining the Pats, Svozil will be teaming up with phenom Connor Bedard. The 16-year old, who took the WHL by storm in 2020-21, is widely considered a generational talent level prospect. As a 15-year old, Bedard led all WHL rookies in goals, assists, and points, en route to WHL Rookie Of The Year. Many NHL fans will be sure to keep an eye on Bedard over the next two years before he will be drafted at the top of the 2023 NHL Draft.
With Bedard a year older, the Pats will have a strong team. By adding Svozil, they got even stronger, and quickly. From the club's official press release:
“We are very pleased to announce the signing of Stanislav Svozil,” Pats VP of Hockey Operations and General Manager John Paddock said. “We feel we’re adding a really good player: someone who has already played at the World Junior Championships, is already drafted and has signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets. We’re excited to add him to our lineup.”
With Svozil playing in the WHL, it should be easier for Blue Jackets fans to keep tabs on their defense prospect. By playing alongside Bedard, it will be hard to look away.