October 12, 2015

Pavel Skrbek

Pittsburgh's second round (28th overall) draft pick in 1996, Pavel Skrbek was once a promising blue line prospect.

Listed at 6'4" and weighing as much as 215 pounds, the talented Czech rearguard offered an intriguing mix of size and mobility. He had a hard shot and could move the puck well. He was even named the best defenseman at the 1998 World Junior Championships.

Expectations were heightened when he came to North America as a 21 year old and had a terrific first NHL camp and solid debut season with the AHL Syracuse Crunch. He was rewarded with a four game look in Pittsburgh.

Skrbek was never able to take the next step. The following year he returned to the minor leagues and was traded to Nashville for veteran Bob Boughner in a trade deadline push.

It appeared he made the Predators roster right out of training camp in 2001-02, but suffered a significant concussion in one of the final pre-season games. He came back to participate in just three NHL games before he packed his bags and went home to the Czech Republic for the season.

Skrbek never did return to the NHL. He continued playing for many seasons in Europe, mostly in Sweden.

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