When the Arizona Coyotes drafted Kevin Bahl in the second round last year it was a fairly complicated process that involved a few trades. The Coyotes’ third round pick was much more straight forward. They drafted Jan Jenik, a forward from the Czech Republic has played for both the highest (Czech Extraliga) and second highest (Chance Liga) Czech leagues.
Team: Bili Tygri Liberec (CE)/HC Benatky nad Jizerou (CL)/Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
Regular Season Games Played: 10/13/27
Playoff Games Played: 2 (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Playoff Goals: 0
Playoff Assists: 1
Jenik spent last season playing in three different leagues (in addition to playing 18 games with the Czech U20 team). He played for the two highest leagues in the Czech Republic, finding more success with the HC Benatky nad Jizerou in the second highest league. In addition to getting some time in Europe playing against adults he also played for the Hamilton Bulldogs in the OHL.
The Bulldogs didn’t get far in the OHL playoffs and were eliminated in the first round. Jenik would only play in two games before being injured, during that time he would register one assist.
His time in the OHL saw him finish sixth in points with the Bulldogs, despite playing in far fewer games then most of his team. His numbers in the OHL weren’t great, finishing 47th overall in points per game, but he has plenty of room to grow. With another season his offense can hopefully continue to improve as he adjusts to North American ice.
By playing in both the Czech leagues as well as in the OHL Jenik is getting the best of both worlds. In the Czech Republic he has the chance to play against adults who can better mirror the physical competition that he will experience in the NHL. With the OHL he gets a chance to adjust to the North American game.
After chipping a bone in his foot during the Bulldogs’ playoff run Jenik would sign an entry-level contract with the Arizona Coyotes. It looked like Jenik would be spending some time with the Tucson Roadrunners, until the Roadrunners didn’t qualify for the playoffs.
If Jenik can keep improving he could be a big piece for the Coyotes. The team is fairly weak on the wing and needs some help generating offense. Jenik is probably still a few years off but after a season he seems like a player worth paying attention to.