Libor Hajek

Darren Walker

Hajek is a physical, two-way defenseman who displays great fundamentals. The Czech import understands his responsibilities and sees the ice well. He skates well and has great edges, showing grace in turns and lateral movement. His speed allows him to skate pucks out of the zone if he prefers and to keep air-tight gaps when approached on the rush. Hajek has a good feel for his defensive zone and is great at scissoring threats off from getting to the net. He has a great mind for what the offense is thinking and uses an active stick to get in passing lanes or to poke unprotected pucks to a teammate. He plays an assertive style, using his strength to gain body position in net-front confrontations or in board battles. He plays a lower-risk game and really prides himself on the defensive aspect of the game. The quickness of his release and accuracy of his shot make him effective, trumping the average velocity he gets behind his wrist shot. He makes some smart decisions on the line, using mobility to sneak into the zone to make himself an offensive option. He passes the puck beautifully. Hajek has some offensive skill, but he doesn’t use that skill set consistently. Once in a while, he will jump into a play where you can see that he has the skill to join the rush with or without the puck, but prefers to remain focused on his defensive role.  (May 2016)