Tomas Nosek signed with the Detroit Red Wings on June 14th, a couple weeks before the 2014 NHL Draft, out of the Czech League.
Not only does Nosek have to adapt to a different style of hockey with the Detroit Red Wings/Grand Rapids Griffins, but he is adapting to a new language, as well. Nosek has a decent vocabulary, but keep in mind he is speaking a second language.
Nosek does have limited experience on a North American ice surface by playing in the World Junior Championships in Canada, but is still adjusting to working on a smaller ice surface.
When asked about the difference between the styles of International Hockey and North American Hockey Nosek said:
“Big difference… there is so much more hits and other training practice in fitness or on the ice and high intensity, so it is different.”
Nosek played in the Czech League, which is miles behind the, KHL, Swedish Hockey League, and Liiga and because of that Nosek might not be used to the quicker pace of CHL/AHL/NHL hockey.
In order to play in the AHL next season, Nosek will have to drop some of his Czech League tendencies he has developed. When heading down the ice, Nosek skated from the middle of the ice to the boards in order to try to pass a play with his speed, but since the ice surface is smaller he would get too close to boards and get walled off.
The good thing is he certainly did not look out-of-place on the ice, but I would expect that from the twenty-one year old center from the Czech Republic because most of the players on the nice were two to three years his junior.
Nosek has a good shot, a great eye for passing (a few of his passes made their way through a decent crowd of skates), and his speed is slightly deceptive because of his 6’2″ frame.
There is a lot to like about the young Czech player and if he can adapt to North American Hockey in the AHL with the Griffins and continue to develop we could see him in Detroit in a couple of years.