Welcome to another prospect profile here on A Winning Habit, where we learn more about some players the Canadiens could potentially select with the fifth overall pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. This is the third edition, where we will be looking at Slovak product Dalibor Dvorsky. You can find the first two prospect profiles here:
Dvorsky played in the HockeyAllsvenskan this year, the second-best league in Sweden behind the SHL. While there, he put up 14 points in 38 games, which was decent production for a draft-year player, but nothing that jumps off the page, either. But Dvorsky did shine at the U18s this past April, putting up 13 points in seven games, lighting the lamp eight times. The problem for Dvorsky was that he never managed to put consistent performances like the one at the U18s in Sweden that could’ve solidified him in the top tiers of the draft.
Team: AIK (HockeyAllsvenskan)
Height/Weight: 6’1″/185 lbs
DOB: Jun 15, 2005
Hometown: Zvolen, Slovakia
Analysis & NHL Projection
Dvorsky is a versatile and intelligent player who has the chops to be a successful NHLer. At times, he shows flashes of greatness, showing the potential to be a number-one centre at the NHL level. Other times that version just isn’t there, which makes it difficult to tell what he can be at the next level. He’s got a great shot, one that should have no issue beating NHL goalies, and he certainly has the smarts to succeed. But can he put it all together to be a play driver on a top line in the NHL? That’s tough to say.
Dvorsky still looks like an NHLer, as he has many desirable traits of an excellent middle-six centre in the NHL. And that’s certainly not a bad thing, but for teams looking to draft Dvorsky, the uncertainty as to what exactly his ceiling could be might hurt his stock or might help it. Is he an NHL all-star calibre player? I certainly wouldn’t rule it out, but it’s definitely not the safe bet that a Connor Bedard or Adam Fantilli would be.
I’d say trying to project Dvorsky at the next level; he has the makings of a great number two centre, with possible number one upside. Am I building around him, expecting him to be the guy of the future? No. But adding him to a core already brimming with talent to centre more of a checking line, one that handles a lot of tough matchups, would be nice. I think he would do well in a Nico Hischier, David Krejci, Phil Danault kind of role. He can play in virtually every role, on the powerplay and penalty kill, which I’d imagine would make him a coach’s favourite.
Dalibor Dvorsky Draft Projection
At one point, Dvorsky was being looked at as a potential top-five pick in this year’s draft, but he dropped in the rankings as the season went on. He wasn’t bad this year, and his draft stock hasn’t tanked. He just didn’t blow scouts away like some other prospects did. And that makes his draft projection a little more complicated. He could go to the Canadiens at five, but it’s looking like he might be a back half of the top ten kind of pick. I don’t know why, but I just feel like he could thrive in Detroit. He just seems like a good fit there.
Dvorsky’s Fit With The Canadiens
I like Dvorsky as a prospect but don’t love him, especially for the Canadiens at five. He looks like a toolsy, 200-foot player, and I don’t think the Canadiens have that, but it’s also not what I would spend the fifth pick on. I feel as though the Habs need to swing for upside, and I’m not sure Dvorsky entirely fits that bill. Could he be a star? Maybe, but other players will be on the board that I like much more to become one.
If the Habs had another lottery pick, I’d be all for using one of them on Dvorsky, especially if the second one was in the 7-12 range. But I feel as though it’s crucial to get a superstar, and that’s not out of the question at five, but Dvorsky isn’t that guy, at least not to me. I’m not opposed to drafting a centre, especially if they have upside higher than that of Kirby Dach or Nick Suzuki, but Dvorsky doesn’t, in my opinion, and I’m not spending the fifth overall pick on a third-line centre.
Don’t get it twisted. Dvorsky is a really good prospect, one that will likely make a team’s fans and coaches alike very happy. But I don’t feel he’s on par with other players in the draft, and in one of the deeper draft classes in recent history, I want to put the fifth pick to good use. If the Canadiens were to draft Dvorsky, it wouldn’t be the end of the world, as they’d add a good, versatile two-way centre to the fold, but it would likely fail to address what I consider to be theCanadiens’ biggest need.
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