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2023 NHL DRAFT: SLOVAKIA/USHL – Martin Mišiak, RW/C, Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)/HC Nové Zámky (Slovak Extraliga) – Scouting Report/Video Review

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA - JANUARY 2: Slovakia's Martin Misiak #23 skates with the puck while Canada’s Brandt Clarke #5 defends during Quarterfinal Round action at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship at Scotiabank Centre on January 2, 2023 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/IIHF)
Martin Mišiak
2023 NHL Draft eligible
Position: RW/C, Shoots: L
H/W: 6´2“, 198 lbs
Date of Birth: 2004-09-30
Stats to Date: 27 GP, 6 G, 11 A, 17 PTS, 26 PIM (Youngstown Phantoms, USHL), 29 GP, 1 G, 9 A, 10 PTS, 10 PIM (HC Nové Zámky, Slovak Extraliga)

Mišiak started the year with HC Nové Zámky in the Slovak top tier league. However, his second season at the highest men´s level in Slovakia didn't go as planned, therefore he decided to make the move to the USHL. He left for the Youngstown Phantoms after the World Juniors and spent the remainder of the season in the United States Hockey League.

Mišiak mainly played on the right wing throughout his professional career in Slovakia, but he has also been tried at center in the USHL. He is a versatile forward able to play all three positions, but he projects best on the wing. A big bodied (6´2”, 198 lbs) forward with a decent frame, Misiak’s game has changed since coming to North America. It's not impossible he´ll become a true power forward at some point of his career as he has the right attitude, doesn´t mind an aggressive game, finishes his checks, and goes to the net.

All in all, Mišiak is indeed an interesting forward. He doesn't have a true weakness to his game, his frame, solid skating, soft hands and improved defense make him a player with a relatively safe floor. He may not have the explosive offense needed to be a true top-six forward, but he might become a solid middle-six winger at the NHL level. He has been labelled as underrated in recent years, since his numbers don´t scream great production, but his potential is clear. He was the #75 on our board in our mid-season rankings at McKeen´s Hockey and could find himself in a similar position in our final rankings.


Mišiak has a quick first step and is able to gain a decent speed with only a few strides, as it's shown in this clip. He´s hovering around the blue-line and waiting for an opportunity to get the puck. When an opposing defenseman takes the pass, Mišiak quickly puts pressure on him thanks to his quick feet and tries to steal the puck. His attempt is successful, since the defenseman makes a mistake and the puck gets loose. Mišiak retrieves it and immediately sends it towards the goal, but to no luck.

Mišiak has a smooth skating style and is able to control the puck even at high speed. In this clip, he's able to take the puck from his own zone to the net in a couple of seconds. He might take too many short steps, but overall, he's quite mobile and shifty.

There are clear signs of improvement in Mišiak´s skating style, as it's shown in this recent clip from the USHL. Mišiak is able to change directions quickly and easily and creates space for himself. This play ends up in drawing a penalty. The Slovak forward still does have room for improvement, mainly in terms of his top speed, but his skating is definitely above-average and one of his best traits.

Grade: 55


Mišiak has a dangerous shot. He possesses a quick release, which makes him a solid power-play threat. His wrister is heavy and can surprise a goalie, but his shooting talent is not enough to be thought of as a future regular scorer at the NHL level. He doesn't have the accuracy to be a primary shooting threat on his team, the space selection should be better too. He does have the tendency to shoot from ineffective areas.

The quickness of his release is definitely something Mišiak can build on. He's able to score from unexpected places due to his rapid shot. In this clip, Mišiak is not in a good spot to score from, he's turned away from the goal, but takes the puck and quickly shoots it at the net. The goalie doesn't respond so quickly and the puck ends up in the net.

Nonetheless, he shoots a lot and has the confidence to finish plays on his own. Just like in this clip, Mišiak doesn´t even think of slowing the play or passing to a teammate. He doesn´t hesitate and shoots the puck, but doesn´t score.

Grade: 50


Mišiak has extremely soft hands and he doesn't mind getting flashy at all. In this clip, he retrieves the puck in the neutral zone, speeds up to skate away from the returning defensemen and finishes the breakaway with a nasty move. For such a well-built player, Mišiak is surprisingly skilled and likes to keep the puck on his stick.

This is another example of Mišiak´s silky hands as he scores a game-winning shootout goal with a brilliant move that requires extreme patience and skill.

He has quick hands and decent hand-eye coordination, which make him a solid option to tip the pucks into the net. As in this clip, he seems to be muscled out of position at first, but finds his way to tip the shot from the blue-line and scores. He works well in front of the net and already scored a couple of goals in the same way.

Mišiak is not afraid of unexpected solutions and has a lot of confidence with the puck on his stick. As in this clip, he makes two quick turns to confuse the opposing player behind the net and gains the advantage of a few steps on him as a result.

Once again, Mišiak avoids losing the puck with a surprising move. He escapes the pressure well at the blue line, protects the puck and sends it to an open teammate with an impressive pass between his opponent's legs.

Grade: 55


Mišiak can be really sneaky and appear in a good shooting position out of nowhere. Just like in this clip, he sends a pass to his teammate behind the net and seemingly stays away from the play, but quickly realizes the mistake the defensemen made and skates into a great shooting position. However, he receives a pass that's far from perfect, therefore, he doesn't capitalize.

He's started to play a simpler game in the USHL and sends the pucks away quicker, as he doesn't have as much time at the smaller ice. Nevertheless, Mišiak does like to keep the puck on his stick way too much from time to time. He was also guilty of being overconfident or not engaged enough. In this clip, he appears a bit sloppy while taking the puck behind his own net and doesn´t see the forechecking players as a threat. This appears to be a mistake and as a result, he loses the puck in a dangerous spot. He doesn't have a superb vision or passing game, yet it's not necessarily a weakness of his either.

Even though he used to be a pure-offense forward, he has become a more balanced player, able to play a two-way game and kill penalties. He´s mainly valuable in short-handed situations due to two of his main strengths; forechecking ability and puck control. Both traits are on display in this clip. Mišiak puts pressure on the opposing players, who make a mistake and lose the puck. Mišiak quickly retrieves it, holds it for a couple of seconds and passes it to a teammate who can clear it.

Grade: 50


Mišiak has a decent frame (6´2”, 198 lbs) for such a young player and can be used as a net-front presence to screen the goalie. He´s improved his physical play immensely in recent years and uses his body well. He's more active on the forecheck, finishes his checks and doesn´t mind throwing his body around to deliver solid hits.

He's a decent forechecker and doesn´t mind playing aggressively. This is a textbook Mišiak play; he attacks the defenseman in the offensive zone, steals the puck from him and shows his great frame and power along the boards, as he withstands the pressure from another defenseman. Mišiak shows his great control, he keeps the puck on his stick and does not allow it to be stripped away from him. He ends his shift with a pass to a teammate at the blue line.

Mišiak´s improvement in the physical area of his game has been on display even more in the USHL. The North American style of play suits him well, he is used to playing quick and doesn´t mind a more intense game. Mišiak´s frame allows him to throw clean and solid hits. He uses his body well to strip the opponent from the puck in this clip. He's also able to take the hit and it can be quite gruelling to beat him in a board battle.

Mišiak has the potential to be a solid physical forward. On the other hand, he needs to control his temper and stay away from taking unnecessary penalties. He's still a young forward who will learn to use his body more and more efficiently as he grows older and gains the valuable experience. In this clip, Mišiak takes a penalty he should avoid taking; he hits a guy who´s in a vulnerable position in the numbers while at a  high speed. He made a couple more dangerous hits/boardings in the USHL as well, so there's definitely room for improvement.

Grade: 55

OFP: 53

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.