Overseas expert Lydia Szyjková from The Hockey Writers portal considers Slovakian hockey player Erik Černák to be one of the ten best defensemen in the overseas NHL.
According to her, the two-time winner of the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning can replace Ryan McDonagh, who moved to the Nashville Predators. According to the expert, “Blesky” are a better team when the 25-year-old from Košice is on the ice.
“With his style of play, he can be a perfect replacement for McDonagh. He’s a Top 10 defenseman in the league and the Lightning are better when he’s on the ice. He’s a defensive specialist, maybe the last on his team. He’s put up 51 plus points in four seasons and averaged over 19 minutes per match.
Last year, he led the team with 165 points and recorded 73 blocked shots. He is the king in weaknesses. During his career in the NHL, the Lightning saved 89.3 percent of the shots with him on the ice and up to 90.8 percent in the playoffs,” Szyjková wrote about Černák.
“Even though he is not known for his offensive game, Černak can collect assists and occasionally score. He should be able to emulate McDonagh’s point production from previous seasons. In today’s NHL, points are also expected from defensemen. But someone also has to stop opponents from scoring, so no goals are expected from Černák.
However, he has the skills to make him a more well-rounded defenseman with a focus on defending and blocking shots. At 25, he is the best defensive back on the team and he is busy. If he stays healthy, he can be as productive as McDonagh,” continues the expert.
“The Lightning need a thoroughbred defender, and that’s why Černák is an ideal replacement for McDonagh and his tough playing style. In addition, the team knows that it is better with him on the ice and they will need him more than ever,” added Szyjková.
Černak has already played 299 games in the pro league, including the playoffs, all in the Tampa Bay jersey. However, he was drafted into the NHL by the Los Angeles Kings club in 2015 from the 43rd place. In addition to two Stanley Cups, he also has the title of Hockey Player of the Year in Slovakia for 2021.Read more One game without a point was enough. The Montreal media took a liking to Slafkovský
Source: Pravda – Šport – Futbal – Hokej by hokej.pravda.sk.
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