Through two games at the IIHF World Junior Championships, Columbus Blue Jackets defense prospect Stanislav Svozil has been a major force.
The Czech defenseman, who turns 20 in January, is second in the entire tournament in scoring, posting 1-4-5 in just two games, trailing only can't-miss prospect Connor Bedard. Svozil, who was picked in the third round, 69th overall in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, appears to be a player on the rise.
Svozil has shown great poise with the puck, making some sublime passes that have led directly to goals (h/t reddit):
David paek (#MnWild) gets in on the action, hammering a one-timer for Czechia's 9-0 goal.— EP Rinkside (@EPRinkside) December 28, 2022
Stanislav Svozil (#CBJ) and Maty apovaliv (#VegasBorn) the assists on the play.
: @TSN_Sports pic.twitter.com/YC1Udh2nbN
He's also flashed a nice shot, beating the goalie clean:
While not known specifically for his physical play, he laid a nice hip check in open ice on another top prospect, Adam Fantilli.
In 2021, Svozil made the jump from the Czech pro league to the CHL, where he is in his second year playing for the WHL's Regina Pats. Through 28 games this season, Svozil has posted an impressive 5-32-37. Still, it's been suggested that his numbers are inflated due to him benefitting from playing with his teammate Bedard. So far in the tournament, that doesn't seem to be the case.
EP (EliteProspecs) RinkSide's Mitchell Brown has spent the past few years tracking Svozil, and he made an interesting note about Svozil's game against the clearly overmatched team Austria and his overall impact through two games.
Stanislav Svozil was on the ice for 29 shots for and ZERO against in just over 8 minutes at even strength, according to InStat.— Mitchell Brown (@MitchLBrown) December 28, 2022
Not sure I've ever seen that before.
World Juniors game score leaders through three days.— Mitchell Brown (@MitchLBrown) December 29, 2022
Connor Bedard and Stanislav Svozil are on another level. pic.twitter.com/OwaaXyidGL
Team Czechia was thought to have been a plucky underdog team with some upside. But after defeating the mighty Canadians 5-2 in the opener, and easily dispensing Austria 9-0, the team has their sights set on the medal round. Later today, Czechia takes on Sweden, who is tied atop Group A with an undefeated record through two games. Svozil may not be the household name of his Czech teammate David Jiricek, but he's proving to be a key piece for a Czech team with high aspirations.