The Wild drafted Pavel Jenys in 2014, but he did not make last year’s list of the Top 25 Under 25 because he was such an unknown quantity. Since the Czech native spent his prior seasons in Europe, we hadn't had much chance to see him play in North America. But last season, he played in the OHL for the Sudbury Wolves, the worst team in Canadian junior. The team’s lack of success was no fault of Jenys’s as he led the team in points with 45, and tied for the lead in assists with 30 (in five fewer games than the player with whom he tied). While his production was slightly less than the other two forwards selected in the late rounds of 2014 (Chase Lang of the Calgary Hitmen and Reid Duke of the Brandon Wheat Kings), he could possibly have an even larger impact on the Wild’s farm system than Lang or Duke.
Going into his draft year, the biggest complaint naysayers had regarding Jenys was that he put forth an inconsistent effort. Mike Repertorio for Pro Puck Prospects mentioned that scouts are most critical of the effort of Jenys:
"He does need to improve his defensive zone play, but plays to win and will give up his body to block shots. Overall though, scouts want to see this character forward provide a more consistent effort level."
On some nights, he looked like a superstar, but on many others, he looked disinterested or lost. That behavior continued with Sudbury in his first North America season, but considering how dreadful the Wolves were, I can't blame his disinterest. In addition to his effort level, Jenys is also criticized for his defensive abilities, a criticism that is common of many young players. He did have a -36 last season with Sudbury, but the team worst was -59, illustrating just how many goals the Wolves gave up, regardless of whether or not Jenys was on the ice.
Jenys finds himself in Hockey Wilderness's top 25 players under 25 because on occasion he does look like a superstar. His athleticism and physical presence will serve him well as he transitions to professional hockey, probably this season in Iowa. With a 6'2" frame, he's got enough height to compete in a physical league. Dobber Prospects posted the remarks of scout Edric Joseph:
"A good prospect to take the wait and see approach with given his shot and ability to dictate the play when forced to play in the corners or on the boards. The Wild ought to be pleased with the heart and vigor that he shows in his play. Jenys’ mildly abrasive, intimidating presence it will keep the opposition on their toes. Whether or not he can handle taking this style of play to the professional level remains to be seen."
After the conclusion of the Sudbury Wolves’s season, Jenys played with the Iowa Wild and he looked good. Because of his size and skating, he was able to fit in immediately on a roster that struggled mightily for most of the regular season, a roster that improved towards the end of the season as the Wild added eliminated players from the CHL and from various NCAA programs. Jenys tallied 3 assists in 8 games, mostly playing on a line with Jared Knight and Brett Sutter. That trio made up a physical, hard to play against line, that was fun to watch late in Iowa’s season.
While it would perhaps be better for Jenys’s development to play for a decent OHL team than to play for the struggling Iowa Wild, Iowa is in a situation where they need more players who can contribute, and Jenys has a skillset that can boost Iowa’s offensive production, an area that desperately needs to improve this year. Additionally, it would do Jenys little good to spend another season playing for Sudbury, a team which is likely to improve simply because they could not be any worse, and even though they will almost certainly be better, it would still stall Jenys's development to play to for a team that still projects to finish at or near the bottom of the OHL.