2018 NHL draft prospect profile #16: Martin Kaut

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 5: Martin Kaut #16 of Czech Republic with the puck as Trent Frederic #34 of United States defends in the first period during the Bronze Medal Game of the IIHF World Junior Championship at KeyBank Center on January 5, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 5: Martin Kaut #16 of Czech Republic with the puck as Trent Frederic #34 of United States defends in the first period during the Bronze Medal Game of the IIHF World Junior Championship at KeyBank Center on January 5, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images) /

Martin Kaut comes in as our 16th ranked prospect. A goal-scoring winger from the Czech Republic that the scouts can’t find agreement on. His strong second half of the season should carry him well into the draft.

In recent years, it seemed like the Czech Republic was struggling in the hockey world. Poor finishes on the international stage and fewer prospects in the first round started to put some question marks on their programs.

However, the last two years have been much different. In the 2017 draft, we saw teams select Martin Necas and Filip Chytil in the first round. Both players had very successful draft+1 seasons, with Chytil playing nine games with the New York Rangers.

In this draft, Filip Zadina will likely be drafted second or third overall. On the international stage, the Czech Republic had much better showings. Even though they did not win a medal at the World Juniors, they improved immensely from year’s past.

Improvement is the theme here with Martin Kaut. He had a bit of a slow start to the season, but has caught fire in the second half. If you were impressed by Necas and Chytil, take a look at Kaut. We will break down that and more down below.

The stats rundown

*Counting stats provided by EliteProspects

Height: 185 cm/6’1″

Weight: 79 kg/174 lbs

Birthdate: October 2, 1999

Position: RW

Handedness: Right

Team (league): HC Dynamo Pardubice (Czech Extraliiga)






#27 by Cam Robinson


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On first inspection, these point totals don’t seem like much. But, we have learned something from Vancouver Canucks prospect, Lukas Jasek. It’s hard enough to make an Extraliiga team. Playing regular minutes is something even rarer for an 18-year-old player.

These teams don’t give younger players many opportunities, especially if the team is strong. HC Dynamo Pardubice is very good, but they still found a way to play Kaut often and on their second power play unit.

The biggest reason I mentioned Necas and Chytil in the intro was to directly compare their respective draft seasons to Kaut. Necas’ stat line was 7-8-15 in 41 games while Chytil had 4-4-8 in 38 games. Sixteen points is looking pretty good now, isn’t it?

Now, I know I have to be careful with this, but Kaut did very well in most tournaments this year. He had seven points in seven games at the World Juniors, playing on a line with Necas and Zadina. Is there an argument that he got a massive boost from his linemates? Sure. Which is why I’m leaning more on his Extraliiga numbers for evaluation.

Patrik Bexell (from the scouting report below) reported that Kaut had a relative CF% of +1.8. Given that his team has a CF% of 52, that’s very good. It means Kaut drives shot possession in favour of his team, which should lead to more goals.

Scouting reports

Patrik Bexell, Eyes on the Prize:

"The Czech winger has evolved from a pure shooter that waited in the offensive zone for a shot with a quick release on the edge of the slot, to someone who makes plays is a possession driver and has an overall impact on the game. (…)His shot is accurate and comes with a quick release with a high accuracy. Kaut is defensively aware and a good player in his own end. He has a high hockey IQ and his success at a professional league at an early age shows his ability to process the game at a high speed. (…)While his skating is good, he will need to improve his first stride and acceleration to reach the NHL level."

Ben Kerr, Last Word on Hockey:

"Kaut is a pure goal scorer. His powerful skating ability allows him to drive the net. When he gets there, he has the quick hands to make moves in tight. He can also score by pouncing on rebounds or tipping in shots. (…)Kaut is also a talented playmaker. He anticipates plays well and makes strong passes to teammates. (…)He is good at cutting down passing and shooting lanes. Kaut uses his stick to intercept passes. He is not afraid to put his body on the line to block shots."

Mark Scheig, The Hockey Writers:

"He’s especially effective around the net. He is as good a finisher there as he is a passer. He’s great at reading the play develop and making the perfect pass to a cutting teammate. Watch the primary assists he had at the World Juniors.Kaut can play in all situations. With the game on the line needing a stop, he has no issues jumping into a scrum and winning battles. This is despite being undersized at 6-foot-1 and 174 pounds. He is strong on the puck and uses that to his advantage."

What we think

I really like Martin Kaut’s game. Of course, his skating could use work and he needs to get stronger, but his goal-scoring prowess and playmaking ability is incredible. Kaut is smart, can play well defensively and quickly showed how good he was in the Czech Extraliiga.

From a Vancouver Canucks perspective, we have quite a few right-handed right wingers. However, I think Kaut would be a welcomed addition to the organization. At seventh overall? Never. But, the consensus around various sources is all over the place after the top 10 (and even that isn’t exactly set). If Kaut is there in the second round, the Canucks should make that move. I know defence is critical to find, but if Kaut is the best player available at 37th overall, I wouldn’t blink.

He has top-six forward potential and adds skill to the lineup, something teams always need. And if you want to add in accomplishments, Kaut made the Czech team at the World Championships over Filip Zadina.

Next: 2018 NHL draft profile #17: Ryan Merkley

The draft is all about exploiting inefficiencies. In other words, the goal is to get a player that turns to be more valuable than the pick made. It’s harder to do this the later you get into the draft, but the expectation for success proportionally drops. The New York Rangers did this perfectly last year with Filip Chytil. Whomever picks Martin Kaut could do the same thing. We are approaching a more stable part of the draft, but I have a good feeling June 22 is going to be all over the place.