The 2018 NHL Entry Draft was a big one for the Coyotes. After years of missing at the draft, the 2018 draft seems like one where the Coyotes actually got some steals. A big one may prove to be the Czech native they drafted in the third round, Jan Jeník.
20/21 League: Mestis (Ketterä)
Games played: 7
Highest rating: 8
Lowest rating: 12
Jeník has had an interesting journey after being drafted by the Coyotes. He split the first season between Czech leagues and the OHL, showing a bit of potential in the OHL with 30 points in 27 games.
Things changed this past season. Jeník was set to spend the entire season in the OHL, and in the 27 games leading up to the World Juniors, he had 22 goals and 34 assists, nearly double his numbers from the season prior.
Unfortunately, the World Juniors changed things for Jeník. He had two goals and an assist in his first three games. Jeník sustained a knee injury, knocking him out of the tournament and the rest of the season.
Like many players, Jeník has been playing in Europe while the North American leagues are dealing with Covid-19. He has been playing for Mestis, Finland's second-highest hockey league. The loan has ended, with him finishing on a point-per-game pace during his short time in Finland.
Before last season's abrupt ending it looked liked Jeník was going to be spending the season in the AHL with the Tucson Roadrunners. This still seems like the most likely outcome, unless he can make the Coyotes' roster out of training camp.
Jeník can score and has a physical edge that makes him intriguing for Coyotes fans. He may need a few seasons in the AHL to adjust to the professional game, but that is to be expected. He is healthy though, and an important piece of the Coyotes' history.