The Slovak main prospects trio for the 2022 NHL Draft wouldn´t be complete without Filip Mešár. Even though Juraj Slafkovský and Šimon Nemec have established themselves as almost sure top five selections, Mešár is more of a late first round candidate. He had a great run in the Slovak top tier league play-offs until his season ended early due to an injury.
Mešár has a unique offensive ceiling. As a great skater, playmaker or shooter and also a highly smart and effective player, there is not much more you could ask for in a high end forward prospect. The main weakness remains his lack of physical play, mainly due to his playing style and size (5´10“, 174 lbs). However, his recent improvement in this area indicates his high potential.
Mešár prefers the center position, but he is mainly seen as a winger at the NHL level. His fast, agile style of hockey is reminiscent of players like Kevin Fiala or Johnny Gaudreau to a certain level. He is not a lock to make the NHL, but there is a solid chance of him becoming a top-six forward, if he continues in improving his physical play and robustness. It depends on the NHL club that will draft him, but it´s most likely Mešár will continue his career in the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers and adapts his style to the North American ice.
Filip Mešár D
Date of Birth: 2004-01-03
Position: RW/C, Shoots: R H/W: 5´10“, 174 lbs
Stats to Date (GP-G-A-PTS): HK Poprad, Tipos Extraliga (37-8-8-16)
Skating is one of Mešár´s biggest assets. As a smaller forward, he´s very mobile and agile. Mešár possess a great skating style with an advanced four-way mobility. Moreover, his top speed is also on a high level. He has a very good acceleration in his first few steps and quickly gets to the max speed, but doesn´t do it unnecessarily.
Mešár is a very mobile and agile forward who uses his smaller frame very well. He won the Slovak top tier league Goal of the Month award for this goal. Mešár goes coast-to-coast, quickly reaches a fast speed and goes to the left side. The confused defense doesn´t catch up. Mešár then quickly cuts it to the middle, holds the puck a little more and then scores. A real beauty.
Mešár has a pleasant and smooth skating style, he tries to be effective and doesn´t take too many steps. He is able to beat defensemen using only his feet and creates scoring chances for himself when the traffic is light, such as in this clip from a 3-on-3 overtime.
This is another very good video of him using the quickness of his first few steps to lose the defenseman, create some space for himself and finish the scoring chance, although he didn´t manage to score a goal. Mešár can attack the net very well. It´s so difficult to stop him in full speed.
His skating helps him to be a forechecking beast. In this clip, Mešár shows his acceleration and applies pressure on the defenseman who thought he was already safe. As the defenseman grabs the loose puck and takes it behind the net, Mešár immediately speeds up, wins the puck and sends it to the front of the net, creating a dangerous chance.
Mešár is a dangerous forward who shouldn’t be given time and space. He is not a well-known sniper, but his shot is sneakily very good and praised. A big virtue of his is the fast release he has on his shot, he doesn´t need much time to finish.
Mešár doesn´t hesitate when he´s open. He waits for an opportunity in a good position, receives the pass from his teammate and quickly beats the goalie with a sick wrister. This is a guy you don´t want to leave open.
The Slovak forward has the ability to appear out of nowhere and score until the defense realize what´s going on. Such as in this clip. Mešár notices the shaky formation of the defending players, he calls for a pass and shoots. He doesn´t need much time to release and quickly sends the puck to the top corner.
Even though he mostly relies on his wrist shot, Filip Mešár also has a hard slapshot, making him a useful power play option at the face-off circle or the blue line. Nevertheless, the accuracy is not at the same level as the wrister.
Mešár is an immensely skilled stickhandler, his puck skills are on a high level and he controls the puck very well. He is not afraid to get flashy, but doesn´t do it very often. He is an effective puck handler who usually goes for the best option. His advanced skills help him to beat defensemen one on one and be quite effective in creating chances for himself and his teammates.
Mešár is a tremendously skilled player, he uses his body to complement his stickhandling well and loses the defensemen. In this clip, he is able to make two defensemen look silly, he loses them with almost zero effort and gets himself to a good scoring chance, although he doesn´t capitalize.
This is a fantastic highlight play from Mešár´s first game in Slovak Men´s National Team. He receives the pass in the offensive zone, gets between two defensemen, loses them with a beautiful move and uses his hands to confuse the goalie, but unfortunately for him, the stood up puck doesn´t allow him to score.
Mešár has a lot of moves in his repertoire, including the pump fakes, turnarounds, one-handed skills, between-the-legs and so on. He shows a couple of them in this clip.
The young Slovak usually knows very well when to stop, but sometimes he gets overconfident, goes to too many one-on-one challenges and pushes himself out to a less preferable position, near the boards or to the corner. These situations also tend to end up in a turnover.
Mešár has a great vision, he is an exceptionally smart player who keeps his head up and looks for the best option. He knows when to slow down or speed up the pace of the play. Not just a shooter, he´s also a skilled playmaker who is able to find his teammates in dangerous areas.
Mešár is a very smart player with a great vision and passing game. In this clip, he controls the puck well in a crowded space, does a little fake and entries the offensive zone. Even though he´s attacked by two opposing players, he sends the puck across the whole zone to a teammate´s stick with a fantastic accuracy and contributes to holding the possession and creating a future scoring chance that later ended up in a goal.
Mešár is very useful on zone entries, mainly but not only due to his skating. He doesn´t necessarily reach the maximum speed and sprints to the offensive zone like a headless horse, he rather slows down a little, observes the surroundings and tries to find a teammate. When breaking into the offensive zone from the wing, just like in this clip, he looks for an open teammate in the center.
On the other hand, Mešár´s defensive awareness is sometimes questionable. In the defensive zone, he is nowhere near as useful as in the offense. He looks a bit lost from time to time and doesn´t excel at defending at all. In this clip, he loses the face-off and doesn´t step up to the
defenseman, who gets the puck, but uses his stick to break the potential pass to a place where is no opponent. The defenseman gets the puck and scores.
At this point, Mešár is regarded as a pure offensive forward. He didn´t spend much time on penalty kill throughout the years and that probably won´t change anytime soon.
Mešár used to play an almost contactless style of hockey, due to his lower size and limited strength. I must admit he did improve his physicality, but it was mainly on display at the very end of the 2021-2022 season. Mešár played his best hockey in play-offs with Poprad until the injury. That was the reason I bettered his grade; I had never seen him play so physical and lay so many bodychecks before. The improvement in his physical game was big enough to have faith in his potential in this area of his game, but there is still a long way to go.
This is a rare, but very smart play by Mešár, who uses his body well to cut the attacking player and strip him of the puck by pushing him to the boards. Mešár immediately gets the puck for himself and starts the play.
In this clip, Mešár shows his forechecking ability. His speed helps him to catch the defenseman quickly and he finishes his check, but his limited physique doesn´t allow him to throw a big hit. Mešár is competitive enough and likes an aggressive style of hockey, but he is not physical enough yet to engage in board battles and succeed, such as seen in this clip and the one below. His lower physique (5´10“, 174 lbs) makes him an easy target in board and corner batt
A note on the 20-80 scale used above. We look at five attributes (skating, shooting, puck skills, hockey IQ and physicality) for skaters and six for goalies (athleticism/quickness, compete/temperament, vision/play reading, technique/style, rebound control and puck handling). Each individual attribute is graded along the 20-80 scales, which includes half-grades. The idea is that a projection of 50 in a given attribute meant that our observer believed that the player could get to roughly NHL average at that attribute at maturity