Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Americans Department of Defense

Juraj Valach
Country: Slovakia
Position: Defense
League: WHL
Team: Tri-City Americans
Height: 6'6''
Weight: 210
Shoots: Right
Scouting Report: Six-foot-six towering Slovakian blue liner has turned into the American’s go to rearguard…appears smaller than listed size because of bent over skating style…owns long, powerful strides where he gracefully covers a lot of ice…loves to lead the rush and sustain offensive zone pressure, which is usually uncharacteristic of a guy his size…because of his swift skating, he can press as he has the ability to race back and catch opponents… right-handed shot is an impressive point man…can unleash any type of shot with great power…biggest downside is he lacks a physical edge and can be too passive at times… does have some agility problems and difficulty turning…may be overzealous at times…got burned after stepping up in the neutral zone attempting a takeaway…prone to minor lapses in defensive awareness from time to time...occasionally drops his assignments and leaves forwards alone in front of the net for slam dunk rebound goals…will be a scary blue liner if he adds strength and bite…this competent and mobile blue liner oozes confidence and is sure of himself when the puck on his stick…an intriguing 2007 draft talent from the backend.

2006-2007 Regular Season Stats
58 games 7 goals 23 assists 30 points +11 75 PIM
2007 Playoff Stats
6 games 1 goal 1 assist 2 points -1 12 PIM
WJC '07 - Team Slovakia
6 games 0 goals 0 assists 0 points -1 8 PIM
Draft Day Status/Projection: Valach is blessed with great raw talents and sky high potential. DraftBuzz feels he is worthy of a pick in the 30-50 range. However, big defensemen tend to get plucked fast and furious so the last few picks in the first round are not exactly off limits.

(photo courtesy of

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