He’s not afraid to play in traffic, go to the net, take hits, deliver hits and he plays with a bit of an edge. He’s got real good playmaking skills, good puck ability … he’s got real good ability to get the puck through to the net and make plays.
We know he’s a world-class offensive player, but I think what makes him attractive to NHL scouts is the fact he might play earlier than expected because he’s able to defend at what I consider an elite level right now.
Faksa is an above-average puck-handler and passer. While he still needs to develop his body a lot, he shows effort in the physical game and will attack the high percentage areas.
Faksa does some of his best work below the goal line using his frame to shield the puck well and cycle the play, outworking the opposition’s defense and then distributing the puck. He’s a quick skater who can really shoot the puck as well, and even sees some PK time (the role he played at the World Juniors).
He’s a really smart player and is so dedicated to playing in his own end. Again, his size makes him very tough to match up against.
Rangers coach Steve Spott thinks he has another Gabriel Landeskog on his hands and though he has an obvious Kitchener bias, it’s worth noting Faksa was an OHL rookie.
In that time, the Czech import has already leveraged his physical gifts to make an impact. “One of the better forwards available in the draft,” said one scout. “Has size, skill and he’s a great skater. He has adjusted well over here and uses his size and reach very well.”
The youngest player taken to Alberta for the Czech world junior squad, Faksa acquitted himself well, but he will be even more integral next season when the tourney shifts to Russia. A concussion during the playoffs hindered Faksa’s post-season run with the Rangers, but the bird-dogs love the frame he is building his game around. “Big, strong and he’s going to fill out,” said another scout. “He’ll get some of that man strength. Real good poise with the puck.”