Has Simon Nemec extended the gap between him and David Jiricek with his recent World Championship play?
The Flyers currently hold the 5th overall pick in the 2022 NHL draft that’ll take place on July 7th in Montreal. Simon Nemec and David Jiricek are the top two (right-handed) defensemen in the draft and both are currently representing their respective teams in the 2022 World Championships in Finland.
TLY’s Projected Top 5 in NHL Draft
- MTL: Shane Wright (C)
- NJ: Juraj Slafkovsky (W)
- ARI: Logan Cooley (C)
- SEA: Simon Nemec (D)
- PHI: David Jiricek (D), Matthew Savoie (C/W), and Joakim Kemell (RW)
In the World Championships, Simon Nemec currently has 1G-5A-6P in 8GP and is coming off a 4-point game (1G-3A) against Denmark on Tuesday. He’s showing off his smooth skating ability in every game, while also showing scouts he can chip in offensively.
Jiricek currently has 1G-1A-2P in 5 games in the tournament.
The debate between these two potential Top 5 picks amongst hockey fans has been fun to keep up with these last few months, and even I have bounced back and forth between the two players.
Now, I’m starting to lean towards Nemec over Jiricek due to Nemec’s extremely solid play in these Championship games.
Nemec’s TOI (Time on Ice) has gone up since Game 1 of the tournament against France and the only game he’s played fewer than 18 minutes was ironically during his 4-point game against DEN.
Simon Nemec’s TOI:
- May 13th vs FRA: 15:00 TOI
- May 14th vs GER: 18:01 TOI
- May 16th vs CAN: 19:36 TOI
- May 18th vs SUI: 19:11 TOI
- May 20th vs KAZ: 20:23 TOI
- May 21st vs ITA: 18:38 TOI
- May 24th vs DEN: 17:09 TOI
- May 26th vs FIN: 19:07 TOI
It’s extremely impressive to see this 18-year-old kid playing amongst grown men (and NHL players) and holding his own as well as he has. Despite his solid play recently, Nemec did have a bit of a hiccup today, turning the puck over that eventually turned into a goal. You’ll have that with younger players in a tournament like this.
David Jiricek is a towering 6’3 defenseman who can skate extremely well and likes to play a physical style of hockey. He started off the first 2 games of the tournament with 1G-1A-2P against GBR & SWE.
Since then Jiricek’s TOI has skyrocketed down (played 0:42 VS LAT on May 19th) and the physical defenseman has even found himself outside the lineup in 3 of the last 4 games for Team Czechia.
- May 14th vs GBR: 13:23 TOI
- May 15th vs SWE: 13:50 TOI
- May 17th vs AUT: 11:54 TOI
- May 19th vs LAT: 0:42 TOI
- May 21st vs NOR: Healthy scratch
- May 23rd vs USA: Healthy scratch
- May 24th vs FIN: 12:33 TOI
- May 26th vs GER: Healthy scratch
Now, is it maybe a little premature to judge these kids participating in a grown men’s tournament, absolutely. Team Czechia does have a few NHL players at the defensive position (3), compared to Nemec (1).
This isn’t saying Jiricek won’t have more time to impress scouts and move up on the draft board, but Simon Nemec producing and playing well in this tournament certainly isn’t hurting his.
We’ll see how the draft board falls on July 7th, but as of now, I’m starting to lean back towards Nemec. Some people don’t see Seattle as a consensus to take a defenseman (Savoie?) with their pick.
Is it July 7th yet?