The Arizona Coyotes have some intriguing prospects in their system and Czech forward Jan Jenik looks like he could be the real deal.
The 6-foot-1, 165lbs forward was selected while still just 17 years old, not turning 18 until September in 2018.
During his draft year and at the start of the 2018/19 season, Jenik was plying his trade in the professional leagues of his home country – mostly playing in the Czech 2 league with HC Benatky nad Jizerou.
In 43 games in the Czech second tier, spread across this season and last, Jenik had five goals and 17 points.
Still one of the youngest prospects in the Coyotes system, Jenik’s development is now being served with the Hamilton Bulldogs in the OHL – arguably the best major junior league in Canada.
At this level, Jenik is excelling and could realistically become an NHL player in the near future – with an impressive 11 goals and 27 total points registered in just 22 regular season games.
Jenik’s experience playing in a professional league, against players much older and bigger than himself, certainly appears to be aiding his progression with the Bulldogs.
Two assists in 16 regular season games in the top Czech league might not sound impressive, but the fact that Jenik doesn’t turn 19 until September is an indication of his readiness to compete at a higher level.
Jenik will more than likely be given a full season in Hamilton before the Coyotes look to bring him down to the desert, but that will allow the young Czech the chance to continue his adjustment to North American ice and dominate in juniors – helping to grow his confidence to try new things before stepping up.
A route to the NHL will now go through the Tucson Roadrunners in the AHL, with Jenik needing to get some more experience in a professional league before being ready to make the jump up to the NHL with the Arizona Coyotes.
While he might not make the NHL for another couple of seasons, Jenik could be a legitimate player in the league by the time the Coyotes deem him ready.
What do you think Coyotes fans? Are you impressed by Jenik’s progression so far? Who else in the system are you excited to see? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!