Aug 24: Fans in North America won’t have to wait to see Svozil in action. The young defenseman has signed with the Regina Pats, who held his CHL rights after selecting him 15th overall in the 2020 Import Draft. The first year of his entry-level deal will not be burned by playing in the WHL.
Svozil, 18, already has two full seasons under his belt at the highest level in the Czech Republic, playing 71 games for HC Kometa Brno since 2019. At the same time that he was learning how to defend against professional players, he was suiting up for his country at U17, U18, and U20 international tournaments. He took home the Extraliga rookie of the year award in 2020 and is expected to return to his club team overseas in 2021-22.
The biggest question about Svozil is whether his size will limit him at the next level given how little he provides offensively. His game is all about defending, and at just 6’0″ that may be a difficult sell for the NHL. Still, playing pro at 16 is no small task, and Svozil has plenty of time to round out the offensive side of his game and develop into a two-way option for the Blue Jackets. Signing his entry-level deal was just the first step.