Originally drafted 168th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in 2011, they failed to sign him in the two-year window that gave the Habs rights to signing him. Pribyl chose to stay in Czech Republic to continue developing this year, tying for second in Czech Extraliga scoring with 16 goals and 45 points in 45 outings.
“There’s skill there, and it’s in a six-foot-three frame,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said last month. “Those are hard to find. But, again, there’s lots of work to be done.” After receiving much interest from other teams in the NHL, Treliving snapped up the 6-foot-3, nearly 220 pound forward, shortly after his Czech Extraliga season ended. After shaking hands with the Flames, Pribyl underwent ACL surgery.
I think that anytime you look at a European player in the last 12 months, everyone is like, “Well, is this the next Panarin?”
Brad Treliving notes that the Calgary Flames are short on big bodied guys that can shoot right.
The opportunity is there for him since Jiri Hudler’s trade, the Flames have been hard pressed to find a third complimentary piece for the Gaudreau and Monahan line.
His numbers got better as he got older, so it’s reasonable to believe that he is still developing. Pribyl could have a lot to offer, and based on the position he plays he may be given a good chance. Comparable to San Jose’s Czech forward Tomas Hertl, who has similar size and scored 21 times this year for the Sharks. The Flames could have pulled off a bit of a triumphant signing.
“But like any player attending camp, that decision will depend on how he plays and performs and adapts and all that sort of stuff.” said Treliving. “This is not a guy we’re penciling in to be the saviour here, by any stretch of the imagination.”
A natural pivot and pass-first kind of guy, Pribyl will most likely be shuffled to the wing when development camp kicks off in early July based on Calgary’s need at the position.
Pribyl mentions the small details don’t bother him. “It’s my goal (to play in the NHL) so we’ll see what happens.” “I feel more comfortable at centre,” he said. “But two or three months at the end of this season I played at right wing and I don’t think it’s much different.”
Interestingly, the only player with more points in the Czech league this year was former Flames experiment Roman Cervenka, who had nine goals for the Flames in 2013 as part of a one-year, one-way contract.
“I’m really excited to come to Calgary.” said Daniel Pribyl.