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Tracking the Storm

Draft Profile: Radek Faksa

Monday, 06.11.2012 / 1:25 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Draft Profile: Radek Faksa
Each weekday leading up to the 2012 NHL Draft on June 22, CarolinaHurricanes.com will profile one player we believe might be available for Carolina’s eighth pick. Previous Profiles: Cody Ceci | Mathew Dumba | Related Links: 2012 NHL Draft Preview | Hurricanes Draft History





In the last two years, the Carolina Hurricanes have used their first-round draft pick on a player from the Kitchener Rangers.

Michael Smith
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Could this year be the third in a row?

“If we took another Kitchener player, I guess people would think we don’t go to any other games,” said a smiling Tony MacDonald, director of amateur scouting for the Canes.

But center Radek Faksa might be hard to pass up.

Scouts describe the 6-foot-3, 203-pound Faksa as a big-bodied smooth skater that drives hard to the net. Sound familiar?

Faksa is already drawing comparisons to a young Eric Staal.

A Czech Republic native, Faksa was selected by Kitchener in the 2011 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft, as he came to North America to improve and prepare his game for the National Hockey League.

RADEK FAKSA
CENTER
HOMETOWN: OPAVA, CZECH REPUBLIC
HEIGHT: 6-3
WEIGHT: 203
BIRTHDAY: JAN. 9, 1994 (AGE 18)

He had a rough go of it at first, only recording four points in Kitchener’s first 10 games. But after adjusting to the quicker pace and smaller rink, Faksa was putting up points at better than a point-per-game pace en route to lead all Ontario Hockey League rookies in scoring with 66 points (29g, 37a) in 62 games. He was also a plus-19.

“He’s a pretty complete player for a young guy playing junior hockey,” MacDonald said. “He’s a big, strong guy who’s got a good, hard shot.”

Scouts note that the 18-year-old Faksa knows how to use his size to his advantage, being a force coming out of the corner and moving strong to the net. Some say he does his best work below the goal line, and Faksa himself said he is more of a playmaker than a goal scorer. That said, he’s proven he has the ability to finish. And like a young Staal, he still has room to fill out his big frame. He’s also capable of manning the point on the power play as he did for Kitchener last year, scoring 8 goals.

As if playing in the OHL wasn’t a big enough stage for his first season in North America, Faksa skated with the Czech Republic in the 2012 World Junior Championship in Edmonton, scoring 2 goals in six games. The Czech team defeated the United States 5-2 in preliminary round play before falling 2-1 to the eventual silver-medal-winning Russian team in the quarterfinals.

Faksa is ranked seventh among North American skaters by the NHL’s Central Scouting Service and projects as a future second-line center in the NHL.

Kitchener, especially recently, has specialized in pumping out top-tier first-round selections. Jeff Skinner (Calder Trophy winner), Ryan Murphy and Gabriel Landeskog (potential Calder Trophy winner) have been picked in the last two years alone. In the last 10 drafts, dating back to 2002, Kitchener has produced nine first-round picks. With Faksa poised to go off the board in the first round – potentially in the first 10 selections – this will mark the third straight year that Kitchener has produced first-round talent.

We’ll know on June 22 whether it will be the third straight year that a first-round pick from Kitchener goes to Carolina.

“He’s certainly a very interesting player with a lot of talent,” MacDonald said. “He’s a pretty good candidate for anybody’s team.”



SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 51 32 15 4 166 133 68
2 MTL 49 32 14 3 130 111 67
3 DET 50 29 12 9 149 129 67
4 NYI 49 32 16 1 158 139 65
5 PIT 50 28 14 8 145 129 64
6 BOS 50 27 16 7 134 124 61
7 NYR 47 28 15 4 139 112 60
8 WSH 50 25 15 10 147 129 60
9 FLA 47 21 16 10 115 132 52
10 PHI 51 22 22 7 140 151 51
11 OTT 48 20 19 9 136 136 49
12 TOR 51 22 25 4 144 156 48
13 NJD 50 19 22 9 113 138 47
14 CBJ 48 21 24 3 120 151 45
15 CAR 49 17 26 6 105 129 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 44 16 14 -6 30
J. Faulk 49 10 19 -15 29
E. Lindholm 48 9 11 -12 20
R. Nash 49 7 13 -4 20
J. Tlusty 42 12 7 -14 19
J. Skinner 44 10 9 -9 19
N. Gerbe 45 5 13 -7 18
V. Rask 49 6 9 -13 15
A. Sekera 47 1 14 -7 15
J. McClement 49 1 9 -2 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 6 8 2 .914 2.41
C. Ward 11 18 4 .913 2.42