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Detroit Red Wings Top 25 Under 25: Tomas Nosek

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Once an undrafted free agent, Czech forward Tomas Nosek has earned a spot in the Red Wings’ top 25 under 25.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Detroit Red Wings Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Tomas Nosek at a Glance

  • Born: September 1, 1992 (soon-to-be 24 years ago)
  • Height/Weight: 6’2”/210 pounds
  • Position: Center
  • Shoots: Left
  • Acquired: Signed as an unrestricted free agent, 2014
  • Currently plays for: Grand Rapids Griffins

Here’s Tomas Nosek’s stats the past five years. (Mobile users may need to rotate their phone to view the full table).

What Nosek Brings To The Table

The Red Wings were quite lucky to sign Nosek in 2014. Six to eight teams were lining up to sign him after he broke out to score 44 points in 52 games for Pardubice HC of the Czech Extraliga in 2013-14. A versatile player who can be used at either center or on the wing, Nosek is impressive in his own zone and is a deft playermaker as well. This is what Jiri Fischer had to say about Nosek way back in 2014.

He’s versatile, he can play center, wing, top-six, bottom-six, whatever the need is. He kills penalties, takes faceoffs, plays on the powerplay. He’s a guy that fits in with teammates on all lines and that’s exciting.

Jason Kasiorek of Griffinscentral.com also had a high opinion of Nosek after this past season, Nosek’s second in Grand Rapids.

There are few players in the AHL that match the Czech center's moves and creativity. He can make something out of nothing and finds seams that aren't there to get the puck to the net. Nosek turned it up offensively in the second half following his first NHL recall, notching 11 goals. His defensive game however will eventually be his ticket to the big leagues, as his size, reach and anticipation make him difficult to beat and a shorthanded threat every time he is on the ice. The one knock against the talented forward is his lack of consistency, as good as he is, he should have more of an impact every game. If the new two year extension he signed is any indication, the parent club may have designs on him filling a bottom six role in the near future.

Not bad for a guy who was passed over four times at the NHL Draft. The video highlights of Nosek definitely back up what’s been said about him. Just look at his insane puckhandling ability, courtesy of We All Bleed Redd.

And how about this drive to the net? What a play. Thanks again to We All Bleed Redd.

I know this highlight is from the Czech Extraliga, but wow. This one’s from user Česka televize.

One last thing, Nosek’s a force to be reckoned with on the penalty kill. Our very own Michelle has some great footage of Nosek, especially this sick shorty.

You’ll never have too many highly skilled centers who can play a complete, 200 foot game and excel on special teams. It seems the Red Wings and their fantastic European scouting have once again found a hidden gem. How 30 teams passed on Nosek four times baffles me.

Where Can Nosek Improve?

Nosek’s early career was littered with injuries and while he’s been injury-free since coming to North America, except when he cut his hand opening a box back in October 2014, it’s still something to be on the lookout for.

Consistency on the ice is something that Nosek should be working to improve. He’s ultra-skilled and has the frame to play a game that will translate well to the NHL, but he doesn’t seem to translate that into tangible results. His point totals are a little low for a player who can do what Nosek’s capable of. He’s a great playmaker with incredible vision but his shot could use a little work. I’d also look for him to get stronger and improve his skating as he continues to mature and get used to the North American game.

Nosek's Outlook

Nosek has the capacity to take over a hockey game, but hasn’t been able to reach that level just yet. If he ever finds that next gear and is able to be a factor on every single shift, he could be a good middle-six forward for the Wings in a few years. It’s up in the air whether or not he’ll get there but Nosek has improved every season for four or five years now. Perhaps it’ll just take him until he’s 25 or 26 to fully realize his potential. He was a late-bloomer, and that still might be the case. Me personally? I’d look for him to develop into a solid, two-way third line center who can play anywhere in the lineup when necessary. He’s going to be waiver-eligible next season, so here’s hoping he earns a spot on the big club to start next year. I don’t think the rest of the NHL will pass on him a fifth time if he’s exposed to waivers.