Season 7 profile: Prague Sparta

pro-prague

GM: Peter Ott (5th GM in team’s history – Took over 1 game into Season 6)

Coach: Patrick Roy (replaced Dave Tippett)

Last season: 16th overall (out of the playoffs)

Ins and Outs (Season 6 to Season 7)

Out: Niko Hovinen (trade), Calvin Pickard (trade), Andrey Bykov (trade), Andrej Sekera (free agent), Marcel Hossa (free agent)

In: Aleksander Barkov (trade), Andrei Kostitsyn (waivers), Andrey Vasilevskiy (trade), Ondrej Pavelec (free agent), Erik Ersberg (free agent), Mikhail Sergachev (draft), Dennis Cholowski (draft), William Karlsson (draft), Sven Andrighetto (draft)

 In Place  (Key players signed past Season 7)

Mark Scheiffele, C; David Pastrnak, RW; Alex Galchenyuk, LW; Nail Yakupov, LW; Torey Krug, D; Roman Josi, D 3qs   

 
Three Questions

1. What’s with all this Andre stuff that went on in the off-season? Not including the draft, General Manager Peter Ott made changes that resulted in five players leaving the team and five others joining it. Exactly half of those players have first names that sound the same. Ott let go of an Andrey and an Andrej, and he acquired an Andrey, an Andrei and an Ondrej. In all the changes, the team got a little younger and probably more skilled. In fact, after three consecutive seasons without a trade, Prague has made six in two seasons under Ott and with each deal, he’s made them a little younger than they already were. Included in the six trades were the acquisition of three first round draft picks, one of which materialized in the last draft when Dennis Cholowski (currently Detroit Red Wings property) was selected. Sparta’s future looks really good, with nine forwards (that’s three full lines) and six defensemen who have PO ratings of 80 or higher who are all between the ages of 20 and 27. Because they are so young, Sparta might require another season of pain before it can feel the pleasure, however.  

2.What’s the situation in goal? Among the changes in the off-season was a complete overhaul of Prague’s goaltending service. Ryan Miller was the man in the mask in Prague for five seasons, sharing the duties with Niko Hovinen from Season 2 to Season 5. Last season, Hovinen shared the crease with Calvin Pickard. Neither was great and neither had a winning record. This season, they are both elsewhere and the new goalies are Ondrej Pavelec and Andrey Vasilevskiy, with Erik Ersberg joining the team’s farm club in Brno. It is hoped Pavelec will work some magic in the part of the world in which he grew up. The Kladno native was Frankfurt’s starting goalie in Season 1, but has been a backup in Belfast and Geneva since then. Last season, as a 29-year-old, he was at his best ever with a 90 save percentage and a goals against average below 3. He’s off to a slow start this season, but he has many believers in the organization and throughout the Czech Republic.

3. What are the best parts of the roster? Prague picked defensemen with its first pick in three straight drafts, so it’s probably not a coincidence the team’s goals against average has improved each season since. Justin Schultz,  Torey Krug and Czech Vladimir Roth are the three first-rounders who have nailed down jobs along Prague’s blueline, joining former Minsk Hussar Roman Josi, Keaton Ellerby and Dmitri Kulikov, an original Prague draftee who has provided six-plus seasons of quality service to the organization. The top two pairs of defensemen in Prague are the best part of the team. The forward lines are dotted with young players with a lot of potential, but their best years are not here yet. The team is strong up the middle with Ryan Getzlaf, Mark Scheifele and Aleksander Barkov centering lines 1 through 3. It’s kind of surprising to look at the team’s stats from last year and see some of the bigger names down the list a bit, with everyone looking up at Marcus Johansson and his 63 points, which is more than he ever got in five previous seasons with Moscow and Stockholm. Getzlaf has been good, but after his first two seasons of 98 and 107 points, everyone expected more than the 54 to 64 points he produced in the last four seasons.

History

Season                 Place        PTS        PP %      PK %      SPG        SAPG     GPG     GAPG    PIM

Season 6              16          78      17.3    77.2   27.04   31.60   3.18    3.54   9.28

Season 5              16           81     21.6    72.9   31.37    30.41    3.40   3.68   5.52

Season 4              19          72    18.5    77.3   29.63    30.82   3.22    4.01     9.16

Season 3              23          61    13.4    79.6   26.28    32.96   2.89    4.18    11.18

Season 2              22         70  19.4    79.6    28.60    31.20    3.33    3.77    10.49

Season 1              6          103   19.9    78.4    31.63    29.35    3.89    3.21    8.24

Top Draft picks

Season 1: Zach Parise, LW, current age 33. Games played: 478; points: 516; -118

Season 2: Nail Yakupov, LW, age 24. GP 395, Pts. 199, +41

Season 3: Justin Schultz, D, age 26. GP 323, Pts 168, -103

Season 4: Torey Krug, D, age 25. GP 243, Pts 99, -29

Season 5: Vladimir Roth, D, 22. GP 62, Pts  15, +13

Season 6: Calvin Pickard, G, age 23. GP 34, Sv Pct 88.6

Season 7: Mikhail Sergachev, D, age 18

Trade History

Season 2

Traded Nicklas Kronwall to Athens for Michal Rozsival and 2014 Round 1 pick (used to pick Justin Schultz)

Traded Nicklas Grossman and 2015 Round 3 pick to Minsk for Andrej Sekera

Traded P-A Parenteau to Oslo for Thomas Vanek

Traded Thomas Vanek and Mike Weaver to Geneva for Justin Williams, Ryan Malone and Jeff Woywitka

Traded Jared Spurgeon to Frankfurt for Josh Gorges

Traded Michal Rozsival and Kyle Palmeiri to Athens for Jared Spurgeon and Nick Johnson

Traded Michael Ryder to Athens for Marcel Hossa

Traded Chad Larose and 2015 Round 2 pick to Milan for Saku Koivu

Traded Joel Armia to Athens for Mark Scheifele

Season 3

Traded Zach Parise to Minsk for Alexander Galchenyuk and Romas Josi

Season 4  

Season 5

Season 6

After Season 6 started: Traded Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to Berlin for David Pastrnak and 2018 Round 1 pick (Dennis Cholowski)

Traded Bryan Little to Stockholm for Marcus Johansson

Traded Tomas Jurco to Stockholm for J.T. Miller and Connor Bleackley

Signed Tomas Plekanec (free agent)

Season 7

Traded Calvin Pickard to Berlin for Aleksander Barkov

Traded Andrey Bykov to Berlin for 2020 Round 1 (Stockholm’s) pick and 2021 Round 3 pick

Traded Niko Hovinen to Belfast for Andrey Vasilevskiy, Julius Nattinen, 2019 Round 1 pick and 2020 Round 3 (Lisbon’s) pick

After season started: claimed Trevor Daley (waivers)

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