Left Wing/Right Wing
Related: Samuel Honzek
Alex Ciernik is an undersized but extremely skilled winger who has proven to be a dynamic point scorer at the junior ranks in Sweden. Although Ciernik is Slovakian, he has been playing in Sweden since he was 16, and had over a point per game in every league he played in during his junior career. In the 2021-22 season, Ciernik started to make noise on the international stage, putting up 7 points in 5 games with Slovakia’s U18 team at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Playing for Södertälje SK J20 of the J20 Nationell, Ciernik scored 20 goals and 47 points in 43 games. So far this season, Ciernik had 9 goals, and 19 points in 15 games at the J20 level,
before moving up to play in the Allsvenskan, which is the 2nd tier league in Sweden. Although Ciernik hasn’t quite had the offensive production as in junior, he has played solid for an underage player against professionals. Ciernik’s a shifty playmaker, with excellent skating ability and can make plays happen at high speeds. His ability to put defenders on their heels, shifting his weight effectively to alter the direction and change his skating path at a moment’s notice. He also loves to threaten passes against the great, skating one way and passing the other to create deception. Alex Ciernik will need to improve his shooting and add more strength, but he could grow into a fringe top-6 winger at the NHL level and would be a late first or early 2nd round pick.
Size/Strength Below Average
Physical Play Below Average
Offensive Play Great
Defensive Play Average
Hockey Sense Great
1. Ciernik’s a shifty winger with excellent skating ability who can beat defenders with that explosive speed.
2. He is one of the best skaters in the entire draft and possesses great vision and playmaking ability as well.
3. dynamic passing abilities combined with explosive speed.
Areas of Improvement
1. Will need to add strength and diversify his attack.
2. has a good shot, but doesn’t do it enough.
Ciernik spent most of last season playing for Södertälje’s J20 team, notching an impressive 47 points in 43 games to lead all 2023 draft eligibles playing in the J20 Nationell. After putting up 19 points in 15 games with Sodertalje SK J20, Ciernik moved up to play in the Allsvenskan league, Sweden’s second-tier professional league, first with Sodertalje Sk, then moving to Vasterviks IK. He represented his native, Slovakia at the 2021 Hlinka Gretzky Cup as a late ’04 birth date, notching an impressive seven points in five games. Ciernik is a very shifty winger with excellent skating ability who can keep defenders on their heels with his speed. He’s an up-tempo playmaker and dynamic skater, he’s one of the fastest players on this list in straight lines, boasts an impressive three-step acceleration from a standstill, and can beat you around corners through his crossovers as well who looks to involve himself more than you might expect at his size. While he’s not the most offensively gifted player in the class, he can beat defenders and make plays happen at high speeds, a skill that should help him translate his game to the next level. He possesses great vision and playmaking ability but is still a little too rush-focused and could better utilize his skillset to create off of extended possessions.
Ciernik is undersized at just 5-10, but he plays bigger and doesn’t shy away from contact. Scouts aren’t completely sold on Ciernik’s high-end offensive skill, and he still has to add more to his frame if he is to thrive at the next level. Alex Ciernik is comparable to Tomas Tatar, a fellow Slovakian-born winger, who had a lot of hype prior to playing in the NHL, and it has turned out to be a pretty solid top 6 forward. With some improvements in his game, Alex Ciernik has the potential to be a top 6 forward in the NHL, and he projects as a late first or early second-round pick.
Skill: Undersized winger with elite speed and skating ability, as well as great vision and playmaking ability
NHL Comparable: Tomas Tatar
NHL Potential: Middle 6 Winger
|2021-22||Slovakia U18||Hlinka Gretzky Cup||5||1||7|
|Sodertalje SK J20||J20 Nationell||43||20||47|
|2022-23||Sodertalje SK J20||J20 Nationell||15||9||19|
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