April 28, 2021

Jiricek named Czech Extraliga Rookie of the Year

David Jiricek, eligible for the 2022 NHL Draft, has been named the Czech Extraliga Rookie of the Year, the league announced on Monday.

Playing for HC Plzen in the top men’s league in the Czech Republic, Jiricek collected nine points (three goals, six assists) in 34 games. He did this despite turning just 17 this season (November).

Jiricek garnered international attention at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship in December 2020 and January 2021, playing as one of the youngest players in the tournament and looking like one of Team Czech Republic’s top defenders. He was named a top-three player on his team and voted the team’s most valuable player.

“Jiricek is an incredibly toolsy defenseman,” FCHockey’s Derek Neumeier said. “He has great size, his mobility is very good, he can handle and distribute the puck, and he thinks the play well in all three zones. It’s rare to find blueliners with this kind of package, especially ones who shoot right. He’s still putting all of the pieces together and growing into his body but the sky is the limit for his long-term development.”

Jiricek is currently playing in the IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship, where he looks to be a top player for the team once again.

Recent winners of the Czech Rookie of the Year include Martin Necas, Tomas Hertl, and 2021 NHL Draft-eligible Stanislav Svozil.

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