Ondrej Vala

Aaron Vickers

ze and is a force when he keeps it simple. He looks more like Paul Bunyan when he is defending with a wildly active, swinging twig. He uses his ginormous wingspan and awareness well to wipe quicker opponents out of the play. Quickness isn’t his forte, although he covers a lot of ground with his legs once he can set himself on the right path. The offensive ability is nearly non-existent. Vala’s the typical stay-at-home defenseman who makes the safest play possible out of his zone and follows the rush up at a nonchalant pace. He delivers simple connecting passes within his zone and does not create much off of the offensive line. He is a beast in front of his own net, moving opponents around like he is playing tykes in Timbits hockey. He is strong challenging his man and keeping his stick as an active weapon. He chooses simple routes with the puck, and is quick at making the simple pass or just chopping the puck out of the zone as soon as he has a chance. He saw time on the second pairing and penalty kill unit this season. Vala’s a raw package, but he’s a guy who could draw attention with his defensive skill and size. For teams looking for a project with size and ability to read the defensive zone, he is the guy to take at this point. He’s a surprisingly decent skater and a pure shut-down guy.   (May 2016)