1st-rounders Vrana (Caps), Pastrnak (B’s) highlight Czech WJC team
A pair of first-round picks at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft will lead the charge for the Czech Republic when it participates in the Hockey Canada National Junior Team Summer Development Camp next week.
Jakub Vrana, taken 13th overall by Washington, and Boston’s David Pastrnak (25th) highlight the list, per NHL.com. The Czech team will be one of three -- Canada and Russia are the others -- that’ll play in Montreal from Aug. 3-8, a precursor for the 2015 World Juniors that will be played in Montreal and Toronto.
Vrana, 18, has already inked his entry-level deal with the Capitals, though it remains to be seen where he’ll end up playing this fall. He’s already competed against men, having spent last season with Linkopings of the Swedish Hockey League.
Pastrnak, also 18, is in a similar boat. He too has experience with the pro game, having played last year with Swedish first division outfit Södertälje, but is small by NHL standards -- 5-foot-10, 165 pounds. That said, Boston was quick to ink Pastrnak to an entry-level deal, and GM Peter Chiarelli wouldn’t rule out the young Czech making the Bruins this fall.
Should both be made available to the Czech junior team in the winter, it’d be a big boost for a program that hasn’t medaled since winning bronze in 2005.