97.1 the Ticket’s Will Burchfield profiles Red Wings draft pick Jan Bednar, a 6’4″ Czech goalie, this morning:
“I think I’m a really calm goalie,” he said on a Zoom call with local media Thursday, his first-ever interview in English. “I like puckhandling, (making) plays with the puck. I’m a big goalie and I like big goalies and yeah, I think I’m a little athletic, but it’s not the most important thing for me. I need speed. And I just think I’m so calm in the net.”
To that end, Bednar said he spent most of this summer working on his ‘speed and agility.’ Rebound control and active hands were two more points of focus. He played the past two seasons in the top professional league in the Czech Republic, making his first appearance at the age of 16. “It was great experience,” he said.
Bednar will spend the coming season with the Acadie–Bathurst Titan of Quebec Major Junior, after the club selected him second overall in this year’s CHL draft. He told reporters in July it will be a “good step” toward the NHL: “small rink, more shots, and many hard situations for goalies.”
There’s a lot to like about Bednar, and just as much room for Bednar to grow. He turned 18 in August and remains a long way from Detroit. He’s the youngest of a trio of goalies in the pipeline with big size and big(ish?) upside, after 21-year-old Keith Petruzzelli and 23-year-old Victor Brattstrom. They comprise the giant question mark in the crease for the Red Wings’ future.
Continued; here’s Bednar’s Zoom call: