Comments / New

2023 Prospect Profile: Marek Alscher

After trading away its first and second round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Florida Panthers first selection of the two-day event in Montreal was defenseman Marek Alscher of the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks.

In his draft season, Alscher appeared in 61 regular season games with the Winterhawks, producing seven goals and 16 points, a plus-20 rating and racking up 48 PIM. Well regarded for his defensive play, Alscher helped the Winterhawks, who finished third in the Western Conference, finish with the fourth-best penalty kill percentage in the league.

Aischer suited up in all 11 of Portland’s postseason games (0 points, -5, 17 PIM) as the club was eliminated in seven games by eventual league champions Seattle after it swept Prince George in the opening round.

He also skated in eight international contests with Czechia’s U18 team, including four games at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

Prior to coming to North America, the 6-foot-3, 196-pound Czech also played two seasons with the Pelicans U18 club in Finland, recording six goals and 18 points over 60 regular season games.

Alscher was rated 177th by NHL Central Scouting, #110 by EliteProspects and #106 by FCHOCKEY, so being selected in the third round indicates that Bill Zito or a member of the scouting staff felt strongly about his potential, which is that of a reliable, punishing stay-at-home defender who can skate well.

Ian Moran of Neutral Zone had this to say about Alscher:

We like that he can switch back and forth from the left or right side with ease. We feel he was most impactful as a penalty killer where his ability to hold the defensive blueline forced offsides and poor decisions. While shorthanded he used his reach to force bobbled pucks to continue moving along the wall which eventually lead to 200′ clears and timely changes. He also showed the athleticism to drop to a knee when blocking a shot without getting caught leaning or ending up off balance.

Alscher signed an entry-level contract with Florida on March 13, 2023, attended development camp in the summer and put in an appearance at training camp before returning to Portland.  This highlight shows him joining the rush to score a goal against the Carolina Hurricanes in a prospects tournament game.

In his second season with the Winterhawks, he played in 60 regular season games and saw a slight increase in his offensive numbers, finishing with eight goals and 16 assists. He registered 114 shots on goal, notched two game-winners, led the team with 67 PIM and posted a minus-three rating.

Alscher appeared in all nine of Portland’s postseason games, producing four assists, as the Winterhawks were swept in the second round by the Kamloops Blazers after they eliminated the Everett Silvertips in five games in the opening round.

After his season in Portland ended, Alscher signed an ATO with the Charlotte Checkers on April 24. With the Checkers in the midst of a second round meeting with the eventual Calder Cup champions, the Hershey Bears, the 19-year-old was limited to practicing with the club.

Alscher has two years of junior eligibility left and can be assigned to Portland ahead of the 2023-24 campaign at the Panthers’ discretion. Look for him to again to be at development camp next week and training camp later this summer.