The St. Louis Blues struck gold in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft in Nashville after taking 18-year-old Slovakian forward Dalibor Dvorsky with the 10th overall pick, and his season has already begun in Sweden’s top professional league.
Dvorsky is currently on loan from AIK, another team in Sweden’s premier hockey league. The center is now playing for IK Oskarshamn, and he is eight games into the season in the SHL.
He is off to a very slow start to begin the season, though it is not surprising as he plays as an 18-year-old against men to begin the year. Playing at this level will significantly accelerate his development rather than playing against 16 and 17-year-olds in a junior league in North America.
The first-round pick got a taste of professional hockey in Sweden at the end of the 2022-23 campaign, playing for AIK. In 38 games in the HockeyAllsvenskan, he posted six goals and eight assists but was pointless in a seven-game postseason.
Dvorsky’s junior hockey career warrants a top-10 selection in the NHL draft. In the 2021-22 season, he posted a 20-goal, 20-assist season in 33 games played and tallied six more points in six games in AIK J20’s postseason.
Moreover, the Slovakian has had tremendous success playing for his country. He captured a silver medal playing in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in 2021 after posting eight goals and four assists in five games.
He also performed in the Under 18 World Junior Championship in 2022 with Slovakia. In seven games with the Slovaks, Dvorsky recorded eight goals and added five assists en route to an all-star selection.
Dvorsky has a bright future as an NHL forward. When projecting down the future in five years, the Blues’ center forward group looks as good as anyone. With Dvorsky joining Robert Thomas and new captain Brayden Schenn, St. Louis’ farm system is quickly taking a turn for the better.