The Pittsburgh Penguins prospects pool got a little deeper when the team signed 2020 fourth-round pick Lukas Svejkovsky to his three-year entry-level contract this week. The small-ish forward fought the uphill battle from the second-tier BCHL to the WHL, playing parts of three seasons with the Medicine Hat Tigers before the Seattle Thunderbirds acquired him via trade earlier this season.
The forward recorded career highs with 32 goals, 41 assists, and 73 points in 55 games.
The contract will begin in the 2022-23 season and run through 2024-25. Svejkovsky’s deal carries an average annual value of $859,167 at the NHL level.
Svejkovsky, 20, is not a physically imposing player. At 5-foot-10, 165 pounds, he relies on quickness and skill. His father, Jaroslav Svejkovsky, played 113 NHL games for the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning from 1996 to 2000.
His father also played against Jaromir Jagr in the Czech Republic, though Lukas Svejkovsky is an American.
Last summer, our on-site scouting report called him “a waterbug worth watching.” He showed good speed and a quick hop. He wasn’t shy in the battle drills, either.
The Penguins prospect admitted to PHN that he very much wanted to turn pro last summer. However, the organization didn’t feel he was ready.
“His skill level is really impressive. So it’s one of those guys that we’re not going to rush the process. We’ve got to go about this the right way. But…his skill level is something we’re really excited about,” Penguins Director of Player Development Scott Young said last September.
We also noted his game was “Conor Sheary, with an edge.”
Svejkovsky was the Penguins’ third pick in the draft, 108th overall. The team took goalies Joel Blomqvist in the second round (52nd overall) and Calle Clang in the third round (77th overall) before adding Svejkovsky to the Penguins prospects list.
Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ron Hextall included Clang in the trade for Rickard Rakell at last month’s NHL trade deadline.
Fortunately, Svejkovsky caught our eye in the Penguins rookie camp last summer, so we have video of his work.