Martin Kaut’s stock is on the rise.
After being ranked 11th among European skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s mid-term report, the talented winger finished the season at No. 4 behind only Rasmus Dahlin, Adam Boqvist and Vitaly Kravtsov.
Despite being ranked as a top-five European skater he isn’t expected to be taken until the second half of the first round with the possibility of falling and being taken early in the second.
Drawing some comparisons to 2017 first-rounders and countrymen Martin Necas and Filip Chytil, who went 12th to the Hurricanes and 21st to the Rangers respectively, Kaut is touted as yet another skilled Czech forward with strong hockey IQ and playmaking ability.
The consensus on Kaut is he’s among the more well-rounded forwards in the draft yet isn’t necessarily great in any one area of the game. He is stronger in the offensive zone than in his own end and from a physical maturity perspective he’s still a few years away from being NHL ready.
Here’s some more on Kaut…
Team: Dynamo Pardubice
Position: Right winger
From: Brno, Czech Republic
Weight: 176 pounds
He registered just one point as a 17-year-old in his first year playing the Czech Republic’s Extraliga in 2016-17 but had a respectable nine goals and 16 points in 38 games as the youngest player on Pardubice in 2017-18. His production increased late in the season, too, when his coaches increased his ice-time. He carried that momentum into the playoffs, scoring three times and adding two assists in seven games.
HAD A BREAKOUT WORLD JUNIORS PERFORMANCE
Kaut has been a staple on the Czech national team throughout his young career and did some of his best work at the most recent world juniors. He had seven points in seven games showcasing his playmaking ability—even though he’s more of a natural goal scorer—on the top line beside Necas and Filip Zadina who’s expected to be a top-five pick this year. Not looking out of place while skating beside those two spoke volumes about his skill level.
MAREK AND COSENTINO SAY…
Marek: “Heart issues kept him out of the NHL Scouting Combine, but he’ll be back to training in a couple of weeks. A really creative playmaker, good with the puck in the offensive zone.”
Cosentino: “The eye test says he looks like a pro. Has good compete, rarely takes shifts off and plays an honest game in an underrated Czech league.”
HEALTH CONCERN PROMPTED EARLY SCOUTING COMBINE EXIT
Kaut was in Buffalo for the 2018 NHL Scouting Combine earlier where he met with 14 teams but he was not permitted to participate in the physical testing drills after a congenital heart condition popped up on his medical screenings. It’s not expected to derail his hockey career and Kaut said he doesn’t believe his heart issue will impact where he’s selected. Still, you’d have to imagine it’s something teams will keep in mind.