#20 Winter Prospect: Milan Kytnar

Current Rank: #20
Summer: Not Ranked

Milan Kytnar (from Slovakia) is the final name on this winter’s top 20. It was not an easy choice as there are three players who are absolutely capable of developing into better NHLers than all but a few players on this list. The players who just missed this time are Josef Hrabal, Tyler Spurgeon and Andrew Perugini. More on them in a later post.

Kytnar is a player with a good range of skills. ISS said about him in their final report before the draft: “Reliable two-way center plays hard every shift. Great hand-eye, anticipates well, coachable. Strong skater with a minus first step, good hands and size. Accurate passer, can shadow his man. Good playmaker who sees the ice well. “

Kytnar spent the 07-08 season on the 3line with the Kelowna Rockets (62gp, 9-13-22) and didn’t draw much attention. However, this summer he was moved to the Saskatoon Blades who had other ideas about him. Blades GM Lorne Molleken: “We want him to be our No. 1 centre. We think he’s very capable. He plays with some determination and defensively he’s very responsible, so that’s a bonus.”

Kytnar has flourished this season in Saskatoon. 6.01, 197 (source: Cory Wolfe, Star Phoenix) and playing with more skilled wingers Kytnar is putting up points at an impressive rate (35gp, 9-16-25) and has surpassed last season’s point totals already. He’s also been named to the Slovakian team for the upcoming World Junior Championships over Christmas.

Molleken again: “If you watch him closely in the tight areas he does some amazing things with the puck. He’s playing with [Derek] Hulak and [Burke] Gallimore, two of our more offensively gifted guys and they have to be ready because he can make plays in between feet or over sticks. He’s a really intelligent player and we think that he’ll be a dominant player for us as the year progresses.”

Redline report called him a solid two-way player with good puck skills. He’s “in the group” with Riley Nash, Chris Vande Velde and Teemu Hartikainen, centermen with a range of skills. Kytnar is 4th among the group but he’s come a long way since summer.

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7 Responses to "#20 Winter Prospect: Milan Kytnar"

  1. Jonathan says:

    No love for Tim Sestito, LT? He’s certainly lacking in a number of areas, but he’s blessed with one gift that’s been make-or-break for careers (NHL and non-) since forever: the brass likes him.

    If I had to bet, in five years time I’d say Sestito has more NHL GP than probably half of the players ranked here – and this isn’t a bad list of prospects by any means.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan: I decided to exclude him even though you’re right. I didn’t give Stortini any love on these rankings and he’s a better hockey player than Sestito imo.

    They like him for his grit, but there MUST be gritty players out there who can put up more offense than Tim Sestito.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Lowetide: And that’s not even getting into the fact that his +/- was the worst in Springfield last season.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Yeah. I think Sestito is getting a shove from Buchberger and for some crazy reason the Oilers coaching staff apparently is listening. It’s kind of like the Peter Peeters situation.

    In fact, I’d say that part of the “winter of Don Zimmer” crazy decisions come from this “get everyone’s input” lunacy.

    Tim Sestito represents the problem, not that he’s a bad guy or anything.

  5. Jonathan says:

    Lowetide: Well, the problem I have with blaming Buchberger/Peeters is the same problem I have with people blaming MacTavish for the past 8 years.

    Ultimately, MacTavish doesn’t make the roster decisions; the GM does, based on recommendations from everybody and most importantly his own judgement. He in turn is helped/handicapped by ownership.

    Point being that if these crazy notions are coming from Buchberger and Peeters, it’s still MacTavish who makes the decisions and ultimately has to take the blame. I don’t have a problem with the record, but some of the decisions along the way have been pretty funny – and if MacTavish has to wear that, it’ll be completely deserved.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Well in fairness to MacT he did send Sestito back after 9 shifts and 5:53.

    But yeah, I see what you’re saying. I’d like someone to have a look at what MacT is trying to do at center this season, and put that against a backdrop of his comments re: keeping Reasoner in the summer.

    I think maybe these guys value friendship to the point where they’re unlikely to point fingers but the fact is that someone thought they have enough and someone else didn’t.

  7. Doogie2K says:

    It shows how much I pay attention that I don’t even remember seeing Kyntar with the Blades this year. It’s also possible I missed that game: I know I missed Calgary’s lone home loss so far this year, and I think that was to Saskatoon, I’d have to check.

    Meanwhile, does anyone else keep reading “Mull of Kintyre” in place of his real name?

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