In a surprise move, Sea Dogs defenceman Jakub Zboril was among those cut from the Czech Republic’s world junior roster today.
Charlottetown Islanders forward Filip Chlapik, who is averaging over a point-per-game in his rookie season in the QMJHL, was also cut. It certainly sounds like politics came into play in the decision.
Jakub Zboril, Filip Chlapik & Pavel Jenys cut by Czech WJC team. Coach said CHLers were at disadvantage, but was their choice to play here
— Ryan Kennedy (@THNRyanKennedy) December 16, 2014
Zboril has seven goals and 14 assists in 30 games with Saint John this season. He was the fifth overall pick in this year’s CHL Import Draft and is projected to be a first round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft by most scouting publications.
Not playing in the world juniors in front of a ton of scouts and media will no doubt hurt Zboril's draft status a bit. If there is any good news to come from this, it’s that he’ll be back playing with the Sea Dogs much sooner than expected. His presence is certainly needed on the team’s struggling power play.
It’ll also be interesting to see how the Czech’s perform at this year’s world juniors without Zboril and other CHLers. The Hockey News has predicted that they will win bronze.
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation