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Dalibor Dvorsky: his profile resembles Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s in 2018

The 2023 NHL Entry Draft is just over a month away. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that the Tricolore will be drafting fifth overall, and will have the opportunity to draft another quality prospect with that pick.

That said, considering the club’s apparent reluctance to draft Matvei Michkov, there’s a good chance they’ll be forced to look outside the consensus top-5 (Bedard, Fantilli, Carlsson, Michkov and Smith). And that’s where it gets interesting.

Among the available options is Dalibor Dvorsky. After Juraj Slafkovský and Filip Mesar last year, this would be another first-round draft pick for the Montrealers.

However, in a paper published on The Athletic, Corey Pronman makes an interesting point: Dvorsky’s profile is not unlike that of a certain Jesperi Kotkaniemi, drafted third overall by the Canadiens in 2018.

Pronman recalls in his text that Kotkaniemi was seen as a very intelligent and talented center, but who didn’t have the best skating stroke and who had disappointing offensive production in Europe for a player drafted so high.

And in reality, that sounds like Dvorsky, who scored 14 points in 38 games this season and isn’t the greatest skater. That said, he’s a cerebral player and has some interesting assets.

Obviously, we’re not talking about a carbon copy, but the fact that the two guys are so similar should attract the CH’s attention should they draft the Slovak. They’ll have to avoid rushing him into the NHL as they did with Kotkaniemi in 2018, and accept that his development could take longer.

Five years after being drafted, KK is finally starting to look like a second-trio center. And the process hasn’t exactly been linear.

I don’t know if, like Kotkaniemi, Dvorsky will be drafted earlier than he should simply because of his profile, but the team that drafts him will have to deal with the same risks that surrounded KK when he was drafted by the Tricolore.

It remains to be seen whether it’s the Habs who will have to juggle this reality.

In a row

– Speaking of potential draft targets for the CH.

– Joël Bouchard didn’t really enjoy his time in Arizona.

And neither was Guillaume Latendresse.

– Nick Suzuki was honored this past weekend. [HF]

– It was Ilya Kovalchuk himself who lured Bob Hartley to Russia. [BPM Sports]

– Nice read.

– Tough loss for Montreal CF last night.

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