CBJ Summer 2022 Prospect Rankings #5: Stanislav Svozil

Stanislav Svozil 6-1, 183 pounds

Regina Pats (WHL)

3rd round (#69 overall), 2021 NHL Draft

Playstyle comparisons: Devon Toews, Matt Dumba

NHL upside: top-four defenseman

Professional ETA: 2023

Stanislav Svozil comes in at #5 on our list of the top prospects for the Columbus Blue Jackets, after being selected in the third round (pick #69) in the 2021 NHL Draft. The young Czech defenseman was ranked all over the board prior to the draft, anywhere from the mid-teens, all the way to the low second round. The Blue Jackets have to be ecstatic that Svozil was available when they made this selection in the third round, as he has quickly emerged as one of their top prospects.

Svozil played limited, sheltered minutes with HC Kometa Brno of the limited Czechia league season in 2020-21, scoring just one goal and three points in 30 games. The COVID pandemic likely hurt his draft stock (and, likely, that of Cole Sillinger), and made Svozil a bit of a mystery on draft day. This season, he brought his talents to North America and started out with a strong performance for the CBJ at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament; following that up with an invite to the team’s NHL training camp, though he clearly was not NHL ready.

EDMONTON, AB – DECEMBER 27: Artemi Knyazev #3 of Russia skates against Stanislav Svozil #5 of the Czech Republic during the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship at Rogers Place on December 27, 2020 in Edmonton, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)

After being reassigned to the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League, Svozil had a stellar season, scoring 10 goals and 41 points in 59 games played, sixth amongst all skaters on the Pats, who missed the playoffs by just two points. He also skated for Czechia at the World Junior Championships, which were cut short (again due to the pandemic) – but not before he scored the highlight goal of the brief tournament. 

A fantastic skater with very good lateral movement, Svozil can move the puck well in transition and along the blue line. While he still needs work, he has improved his gap control and is learning to become a better defender, which was really his only question mark coming into the draft. He has great hands, a good shot, and solid vision which allows him to get his shot through traffic, or make a clean pass. Svozil has also shown a willingness and capability to step up and throw a big hit, though that does leave him out of position from time to time, another thing he will need to work on as he strives towards the NHL.

Svozil will almost certainly return to the Regina Pats for the 2022-23 season, where he will join super prospect Connor Bedard (2023 eligible) and a good supporting cast. The Pats should have a team worthy of contention next year, and he will likely be a key part of their roster next year. Upon completion, I expect Svozil to join the Cleveland Monsters sometime in 2023, likely for one or two seasons before he’s fully ready to play in the NHL.

Sep 27, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Stanislav Svozil (81) moves the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The opposite of the sixth ranked player on our list in many ways, Svozil is a flashy, highlight reel capable player, who will dazzle you with a slick move one shift, then drop the hammer and lay your speedy winger out with a big hit on the next. He is a coachable player who has the talent to be a top-4 NHL defenseman, he just needs to round out the finer details of his game.