U18 World Championship coverage (updated on April 27)

We will be covering this year’s U18 World Championship throughout the event, with a focus on the Finnish team and players from other teams that spent the past season in Finland. Be sure to check this page out as it will be updated regularly during the tournament. First up, we have scouting reports on three players from the Czech Republic – forwards Jakub Kos, Jaroslav Chmelar and defenseman Tomas Hamara. The Czechs took a convincing 3-1 win over Germany in their opening game of the tournament and those players played a big role in the win, especially Hamara and Kos.

Czech Republic – Germany 3-1 (SOG 40-19, PIM 12-12)

04 D Tomas Hamara (Czech Republic)

Hamara was impressive for the Czech Republic, playing on the third pairing at even strength, in addition to having plenty of power play time. He was a smooth operator with the puck and carried it well from his own end several times. He has an excellent ability to create offense as he understands the game very well and he is not afraid to take charge either. He is also a very skilled passer and makes clean, accurate feeds to move the play forward. He looked comfortable with the puck at the offensive zone blueline. He showed good mobility and he could get back to his own end in time to break up plays and stop opposing rush attempts. The Tappara defenseman finished the game with one assist and his six shots were tied for the most by a Czech player.

03 F Jaroslav Chmelar (Czech Republic)

The Jokerit forward played right wing on the first line for the Czechs and made a positive impact. Chmelar is a big-bodied player with good puck skills and effort away from the puck. He had a good scoring chance in the second period as he picked up the puck after a face-off and fired a quick rising wrist shot. He contributed to his team’s third goal of the game, working well on the wall and moving the puck to the point. He went to the front of the net regularly, screening the goalie and looking for redirections. He has grown quite a bit over the last two years and is now listed at 6’4″ and 198 pounds. However, this hasn’t affected his mobility and speed a whole lot. He is quite athletic as well. A good performance by Chmelar to start the tournament.

03 F Jakub Kos (Czech Republic)

Kos is an interesting player who has spent the last two seasons with Ilves juniors in Finland. He started this game really well and he was noticeable, but fell out of picture a bit towards the third period. He is a skilled winger with good puck control and handling, and he could execute a quick passing game both on his forehand and backhand. He also put his size and strength to good use, throwing his weight around at times and making his presence felt. He showed good offensive instincts and solid overall decision making. Not the most explosive skater, however, it is possible that he will develop into a much stronger skater with time. Kos had a primary assist on Lukas Pajer’s goal early in the second period.