I really enjoy talking about prospects. Never would I have expected this player to make the impact he has so far.
That player is Ondřej Kaše of the Anaheim Ducks. The Czech native was taken in the 7th round, 205th overall, in 2014 by the Ducks. He played for Piráti Chomutov, Piráti Chomutov U20 and SK Kadan (Czech teams) in his draft year. He compiled a total of 12 goals, 14 assists for 26 points in 49 games in the 2013-2014 season.
Coming to North America
When he came over to North America no one really knew what to expect from Kaše. Let me just say he took that opportunity with the San Diego Gulls (Anaheim Ducks AHL team) and he ran with it. He had 8 goals and 6 assists for 14 points in 25 games. This is where he truly discovered his scoring touch.
In 2016-2017, his next year with the Gulls he had 6 goals and 6 assists for 12 points in 14 games.
Making the NHL
After that impressive start, Ondřej Kaše, earned his first call up to the NHL with the Anaheim Ducks. He recorded 5 goals and 10 assists for 15 points in 53 games. Not bad for a 21 year old. Not to mention he had a good Fenwick percentage at 53.3.
Next year, Kaše only spent one game in the AHL. Kaše really showed that he could play at the NHL level. He put up great numbers once again. He put up 20 goals, 18 assists and a 52.7 Fenwick percentage in 66 games. He truly showed that he was a great scorer and that he can play in this league.
One problem Ondřej Kaše has had is his health. He is often injured. Such was true to start the 2018-2019 season. He suffered a concussion and missed the first 18 games of the season.
So far this season, Kaše has been on fire. He has 11 goals and 9 assists for 20 points and a 56.1 Fenwick percentage in 30 games. He has been one of the few bright spots on this Anaheim Ducks team. Those stats are really good. Kaše is one of the most underrated players in the NHL.
Past, Present and Future
Ondřej Kaše is a big draft steal. He’s up there with Brayden Point of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators and Kevin Labanc of the San Jose Sharks for the biggest steals in that 2014 draft.
Kaše should continue to build on his success. He is a bright spot on this Anaheim Ducks team that needs youth. He has really blossomed into a middle 6 forward this year.
For his future potential I would expect him to be a top 6 winger. I would expect around 50-70 points from him and 25-35 goals. He really looks like a special talent.
Unfortunately, the Ducks put Kaše on Injured Reserve earlier today. Per a report from CBSSports.com, Kaše is suffering an “upper-body” injury. The earliest he can return to action is on February 2nd. But, Kaše will be back soon enough and will driving his opposition insane in no time.
featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals