Tracking the Storm

Draft Profile: Radek Faksa

Monday, 06.11.2012 / 1:25 PM ET / 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

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72