Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2020 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Martin Chromiak.
Slovakian winger Martin Chromiak was the second overall pick in the 2019 CHL Import Draft. He chose to spend half the season with HK Dukla Trencin in the Slovakian men’s league, putting up five goals and six points in 32 games before joining the Kingston Frontenacs. Chromiak made an instant impact in the OHL with 11 goals and 22 assists for 33 points in 28 games. He was also an important part of Slovakian national teams. Chromiak scored five goals and 10 assists for 15 points in 14 games with the Under-20 team. He also scored two goals and six points in five games with the Under-18 team. Chromiak had two goals and five points in four games at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup.
Last season Chromiak was one of the best players in the Slovakian Under-20 league at just 16-years-old. He scored 22 goals and 46 points in 39 games. In the playoffs he put up nine goals and 17 points in 15 games, leading Dukla Trencin to the U-20 Championship. He also played at the Hlinka-Gretzky, scoring two goals and four points in four games, and at the IIHF Under-18, putting up two goals and three points in seven games.
Martin Chromiak Scouting Report
Right Wing — shoots Right
Born August 20th, 2002 — Ilava, Slovakia
Height 6’0″ — Weight 187 lbs [183 cm/85 kg]
Chromiak is a good but not a great skater. His stride is a little unorthodox and some work with a skating coach could lengthen it and give him a bit more speed. That said, his top-end speed is still good and he has no problem keeping up with the play, especially playing with 2022 Draft phenom Shane Wright. Chromiak has a quick first step but improving that stride will also help his acceleration. His lateral agility and edgework are extremely strong. He can turn on a dime and his quick cuts allow him to get away from defenders. Chromiak also shows good lower body strength. He has good balance and can fight for position in front of the net or along the boards.
Chromiak is a natural sniper. His wrist shot has a lightning-quick release. His ability to quickly toe-drag the puck or change the angle of his release freezes goaltenders and makes him difficult to stop. Chromiak’s wrist shot is also accurate and powerful. He also has an excellent snapshot and a very good one-timer. Chromiak has a real knack for finding the soft spots in the defence and getting open to take a pass from his teammates. He is not afraid to play in the dirty areas of the ice. With his quick hands and strong skating, he can also create his own shot on the rush.
Chromiak also pairs his skating ability with quick hands and the ability to make plays while moving at top speed. He sees the ice well and can make a pass to a teammate through tight areas. Chromiak can work the half-boards on the power play, setting up teammates. From that position, he also gets into the faceoff circle without the puck, ready to let go his shot. He is willing to engage in battles on the boards and in front of the net. Chromiak is aggressive on the forecheck, chasing down defenders and forcing them into mistakes. When they make mistakes he can quickly turn them into a scoring chance.
Chromiak’s defensive game is a bit inconsistent right now. He can get back quickly and support the defence against the cycle game and with effective back pressure against the transition game. He is also smart positionally and cuts down passing lanes. Chromiak also creates turnovers with his good anticipation. He could stand to engage more physically though. Chromiak can create turnovers by knocking the puck away from an opponent but also uses that a bit too much. He can seem to reach for the puck at times when using his physical gifts would be more effective.
Projection and Comparison
Chromiak has the offensive skills to be a top-six forward. There has been some question as to how much of his production is as a result of playing with Wright. However, Chromiak brings his own offensive skill to the table and is a contributing part of Kingston’s top line. There are still some questions about his skating and his play in his own end of the ice though. He will also need to get stronger to be able to play his style at the next level. His game is reminiscent of Brock Boeser but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Martin Chromiak that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Martin Chromiak Main Photo:
OSHAWA, ON – JANUARY 25: Martin Chromiak #8 of the Kingston Frontenacs skates with the puck during an OHL game against the Oshawa Generals at the Tribute Communities Centre on January 25, 2020, in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)