The Nashville Predators have signed defenseman Filip Pyrochta to a two-year entry-level contract. The 21-year old spent last season in his native Czech Republic with Bílí Tygři Liberec. He also played two seasons in the QMJHL with both Victoriaville Tigres and Val-d’Or Foreurs. He was teammates with Anthony Richard in 2015-16 with Val-d’Or.
Press Release via Nashville Predators:
Nashville, Tenn. (May 7, 2018) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Monday that the club has signed defenseman Filip Pyrochta (pay-ROCK-ta) to a two-year, entry-level contract.
Pyrochta, 21 (6/24/96), notched 12 points (3g-9a) in 42 games with the Czech Extraliga’s Bili Tygri Liberec in 2017-18. It was Pyrochta’s second professional season – he played 43 games with same club in 2016-17, tallying two goals and four assists and helping them post 103 points in the regular season to lead the Extraliga. Before returning to play in his native Czech Repbulic, he spent two seasons in the QMJHL with the Victoriaville Tigres and Val-d’Or Foreurs, tallying 60 points (13g-47a) in 129 games.
Never drafted, the 6-foot-2, 192-pound blueliner was called up to the Czech Republic team for the 2018 IIHF World Championship. The Trebic was a member of two Czech Under-18 World Championship teams and served as an alternate captain on the 2014 squad that earned a silver medal.
This appears to be a subtle sign that the young defense of last season will only get younger. The returning cast will be: Frédéric Allard, Alex Carrier, Jack Dougherty, and Joonas Lyytinen. The rest of the defensive core from this past season in Milwaukee are all set to become unrestricted free agents this off-season.
What you can like here is that a left-shot back into the mix will be a welcome addition. The right-side defense was such that the likes of Carrier and Allard were forced onto their off-wing for the bulk of this past season. Having another left-side defenseman as an option helps. And, given his time in major juniors, Pyrochta should have a better grasp of the North American style game rather than being thrust from the bigger sheet of ice to the chaotic environment that can be the pro style game at even the AHL level that the Czech league doesn’t fully possess.
Pyrochta, by the numbers, also appears to have a keen ability for producing assists. In his major junior career he produced 47 assists in 129 games. He has produced 18 assists in 85 games in the top flight of Czech hockey and just completed a playoff run with Bílí Tygři Liberec where he had 8 assists in 10 playoff games. Hopefully that vision and creativity translate into the AHL.
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