#67 (Camp Number) / LW / Boston Bruins
Born: August 2, 1995
2012-2013 Numbers: Lulea U18: 8-9-17, 10GP ; Lulea U20: 17-20-31, 38 GP ; Lulea SHL: 3-3-6, 8 GP
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The 90th-overall pick in this past June's draft, Peter Cehlarik is now the youngest prospect in the Bruins' system, according to the B's website. He celebrated his 18th birthday just a few weeks ago (Aug. 2), and was only 17 years old when he attended the B's development camp back in June.
Cehlarik saw his stock rise pretty drastically in the 2012-2013 season, as detailed in this post by In Lou We Trust, a fellow member of the SBNation family. Cehlarik was unranked in the Central Scouting Service's mid-term rankings, yet shot up to number 28 among European skaters in the final rankings. He was one of just four European skaters to go from unranked at mid-term to Top 50 at term's end.
Why? He had a pretty stellar rise through Swedish hockey this past year. Cehlarik (remember, he was only 17 years old at this point) barnstormed through Sweden's U18 league by recording 17 points in ten games to earn himself a promotion to Lulea's U20 team. How did he fare against players a few years his senior? With 37 points in 38 games, earning himself another promotion to the Swedish Hockey League (formerly the Eliteserien), Sweden's top professional league.
Playing against grown men, Cehlarik recorded three goals and three assists in eight SHL games. Not bad for any skater, but especially impressive for a teenager.
Here are some scouting reports on Cehlarik:
He shows good vision as a playmaker, making quick decisions and processing the game well, especially considering his age and the SEL-level competition. His major issue is his skating, which is notably below average.
-Cory Pronman, Hockey Prospectus
Tall and lanky with great hands, but feet betray him.
-Red Line Report via Kirk Luedeke, New England Hockey Journal
"Smart, skilled, and well-sized...If he turns out what we wish him to be, the style of play reminds a little bit of Anze Kopitar. Kopitar was ahead of this player...but the style of play has some similarities."
-B's scout Jukka Holtari via CSNNE
"Hands and a little bit of Handzus."
The Bottom Line
Cehlarik is a ways away from the NHL, but the good news for B's fans is that he's trending upward. At just 17 years old, Cehlarik was skating with the big boys in the SHL, arguably the best league outside of North America, and skating successfully. Next season will be a telling one for Cehlarik, as if he can continue to produce full-time in the SHL, he'll really have the attention of the B's front office.
His pros are tantalizing: soft hands, great vision, and smarts, all things that can't be taught. The consensus among scouts is that his skating is an issue, and that could hinder him on the faster North American ice sheet. However, skating can be corrected, and he will likely received extensive coaching from the B's in that area.
He may be a couple of years away, but the young Slovak is arguably the B's most enticing forward prospect outside of North America.
Cehlarik's stats from EliteProspects.com: