The Calgary Flames are in a tricky spot as an organization and for those looking at the team to rebuild, the draft certainly becomes the most important time of the year. In 2023, the Flames shocked the NHL world when they drafted Samuel Honzek with the 16th overall selection despite many looking at other prospects at the position. However, given his size and potential for growth (both physically and skill-wise), Honzek is turning out to be a pick that many within the fanbase are getting on board with.
At 19 years of age, the Slovakia native has just made his season debut for the Vancouver Giants in his second season with the team, hoping to replicate the success of his first season in North America when he posted 23 goals and 56 points in just 43 games. Honzek stands at 6-foot-4 and weighs 186 pounds, no doubt part of the appeal from the Flames when they drafted him in the first round, but now, it appears there may be another reason why the team made that decision.
Honzek named Vancouver Giants’ captain
Despite just making his season debut on Friday (going scoreless in a 4-0 loss to Kelowna), Honzek was named captain of the Giants, becoming the first European to rock the “C” for the Vancouver based WHL squad.
Also joining Honzek in the Giants’ leadership group is Flames prospect, Jaden Lipinski:
Honzek named to Slovakia’s World Junior squad
Coming into the draft, many believed the Flames were hoping to target high quality characters as well as talented players, and after just 43 games, the 19-year-old being named captain proves that they may have made the best choice. Luckily for Honzek, this isn’t the only great news he’s recently received, as he was also named to the Slovakian national team for the upcoming World Junior Ice Hockey Championships and barring a name like Etienne Morin being named to the Canadian squad, he may be the only current Flames prospect at the tournament.
It’s not yet been made clear on what line he will play, but being one of just eight forwards on the roster currently with an NHL team, it’s expected he’ll at the very least play in the top six, as he has plenty of experience and production, and with a good showing at the tournament as well as settling into the WHL season, we may be seeing a young star in the making.
Ultimately, the Flames won’t want to put too much pressure on him so early in his career, but with Wolf, Coronato, Zary, Pospisil, Pelletier, and others expected to be key members of the NHL team soon, he represents a key piece of the future of the Calgary Flames, and if he can develop, especially as a centre, he may end up being the superstar that this team so desperately craves.