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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Montreal Canadiens Player Profile: Jiri Sekac

(Photo: HC Lev Praha)
When it was announced on July 1st, 2014 that the Montreal Canadiens had come to terms with unrestricted free agent Jiri Sekac, most people said: "Jiri who? Is he related to Joe Sakic?" Well, not exactly as his name is pronounced "Jirji Skaatch". 

The 22-year-old left-winger signed a two-year contract with the Habs that will pay him $925,000 annually should he play in the NHL next season. Sekac will earn $70,000 if he is demoted to the AHL. The Czech can also earn up to $425,000 in performance bonuses in each season.

So, who is Jiri Sekac? The Kladno native played for HC Lev Praha in the KHL in 2013-14, potting 11 goals and adding 17 assists for 28 points in 47 games to go along with a +12 rating and 18 penalty minutes. Never drafted by a NHL team, Sekac played only eight games with the Peterborough Petes of the OHL back in 2009-10 after being cut by his junior team. The 6' 2'', 190-lb winger performed rather well in the USHL before signing to play in the KHL for three seasons.

Before he decided to sign with the Canadiens, Sekac was coveted by at least a dozen teams despite the fact that most North American hockey fans didn't know him well, if at all.

At the 2014 World Championships, Sekac recorded two points in ten games for Czech Republic, but came close to adding two more goals against Italy and Canada, respectively. An unorthodox-looking skater and not a very physical player despite his size, Sekac will have to improve his body strength this summer to be harder to knock of the puck next season. Hailing from the same hometown as Tomas Plekanec, Jaromir Jagr and Jakub Voracek, Sekac is blessed with great hands and an excellent hockey sense.

While he is not known for his defensive acumen, Sekac is a very adept two-way player who is responsible in his own zone, which will certainly please head coach Michel Therrien. The lanky winger has a good wrist shot and great passing abilities, which project him as a 20 goals and 20 assists player in a near future. Sekac is a fringe second line player right now, but he is talented enough to play on the team's third line next season.

This is one of the main reasons Marc Bergevin let Thomas Vanek and Brian Gionta go via free agency and did not sign any other forward to replace them, save for veteran Manny Malhotra who will be the team's fourth-line center. Since Cakes (Sekac backwards) is already familiar with Tomas Plekanec, I wouldn't be surprised if he begins the season on his line alongside someone like Rene Bourque or Michael Bournival, who can both play against offensive lines.

Potential Habs lines:
Pacioretty-Desharnais-Parenteau
Sekac-Plekanec-Bourque
Galchenyuk-Eller-Gallagher
Prust-Malhotra-Weise

Extras: Bournival and Moen

It will certainly be interesting to see if the young European can make an easy transition to the smaller ice next season and keep producing offensively among men.

5 comments:

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Probably will be another Brunstrom, as for Scherbek, 25 teams didnt just pass on him simply because he's Russian Habs fans are always delusional.

Antonio, I know that fans from Hockey Inside Out sent you over here to cause trouble, as they are writing about it on the blog right now..Also, Nice to see some of your Sicilian relatives finally get into a legitamate business after all those years of struggling..Even if it was Through the roof!! wrahahahahahaaa

Hi, My nama is Antonio Salgado anda I makea you a Pizza pie fora $14.99

i can see Montreal not resigning Eller and buying out Bourque

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