With all that is going on right now involving the Calgary Flames, many were unaware that the organization announced a signing on Monday afternoon. Adam Klapka, who is an undrafted 21-year-old, inked a two-year, entry-level deal that will carry a cap hit of $925,000.
Klapka, who is from Prague, Czech Republic, spent the 2021-22 season playing in the top Czech league with Bili Tygri Liberec. In 44 games, he managed six goals and 18 points, while also putting up a single goal and three helpers in 10 playoff contests.
Prior to this season, Klapka spent parts of two seasons playing with the Tri-City Storm in the United States Hockey League (USHL). During that time, he recorded a combined 15 goals and 25 points over 57 games, while also amassing 95 penalty minutes. Despite the point totals not blowing anyone away, there is plenty of intrigue with the young right-winger.
Plenty of Size
The first thing that will stand out to anyone who sees Klapka is his size, as he stands at a massive 6-foot-8, 245 pounds. While he also possesses some skill, his frame is without a doubt what sparked interest in Flames general manager Brad Treliving.
There is no denying that Klapka has a ways to go before becoming an NHL player, but his size already gives him a major advantage over many others. You can bet that Darryl Sutter, a coach who is known to love a hard-hitting, physical style of hockey, will be licking his chops when he sees the big Czech forward in training camp this coming fall.
An interesting fact in regards to Klapka and his size is that he is believed to be the biggest player to ever suit up for a game in the history of the USHL. That is quite something given the fact the league was founded way back in 1947 and shows just how rare a player of his size is.
Klapka Has Scoring Touch
Though his numbers during his time in the USHL as well as his rookie season in the top Czech league this year may not back it up, Klapka has shown the ability to put up very impressive offensive totals in past years. Back in 2015-16, while playing in a U-16 league in his home country, he recorded an extremely impressive 32 goals and 59 points in just 38 games. Two seasons later, he put up very similar numbers at the U-18 level with 32 goals and 46 points in 36 contests.
His most recent big-time offensive output came in 2018-19, when playing in a U-19 league, he scored 11 goals and 32 points in just 39 games. It is worth noting that one of his teammates that season was Michal Teply, who had nine points in eight games. For those unaware, he was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the fourth round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft and recorded 30 points in 61 games with the Rockford IceHogs in the American Hockey League (AHL) this season, and did so at just 20-years-old.
As mentioned previously, Klapka still has a long way to go in terms of his development before being deemed an NHL-caliber player. With that being said, there is plenty to like about him as a player, and he will be an interesting name to keep an eye on in the 2022-23 season, one in which he is expected to spend in the AHL with the Stockton Heat. Who knows, perhaps he is able to improve his game enough to the point that one day down the road he does become a permanent player on the Flames roster? One thing for certain is that with his size, he would be a very intimidating player to have in games against rival opponents such as the Edmonton Oilers.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Yahoo Sports, Las Vegas Chronicle, Oil On Whyte, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.