Vaclav Prospal played his junior hockey with Motor Ceske Budejovice in his native Czech Republic. It was there that the long arm of the Philadelphia Flyers' scouting staff caught a hold of his NHL rights in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft.
A two-time member of the Czech Republic World Junior team in 1994 and 1995, Prospal turned pro immediately upon his selection by the Flyers, joining the Hershey Bears of the AHL for three seasons of development. In his fourth year, Prospal played the bulk of the campaign with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL before making his first leap into NHL action with the Flyers just ahead of the playoffs. From that point forward, he has remained an NHL regular.
His big-league status was secured on the strength of his ability to see the ice well and to get the puck to an open man effectively. He also plays with great intensity and rarely backs down from a challenge. In fact, he sometimes promotes the odd challenge himself as a result of his tenacious tendency to attempt to get under the skin of his opponents. He is also noteworthy for his playmaking skills and usefulness on the power play.
In 1998, Prospal was traded to the Ottawa Senators where he experienced some highs and lows. His best campaign came in 1999-00, when he netted 55 points in 79 games. Upon the conclusion of the season, Prospal was traded to the Florida Panthers where he went on to play for one season, before movin on to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 2001-02 campaign. As a member of the Lightning, Prospal became an elite and valuable player for the team, establishing a career high in assists with 57 and points with 79 during the 2002-03 season.
Following a career year with the Lightning in 2002-03, Prospal signed as a free agent with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the summer of 2003. Upon his arrival in Anaheim, Prospal struggled offensively and subsequently was re-acquired by Tampa Bay in the summer of 2004. After spending a year leading the Czech Extraliga's Ceske B Ceske Budejovice hockey team in scoring during the NHL lockout, he returned to the NHL in 2005-06 and tallied a career high in goals (25) and points (80). After less of an offensive output in 2006-07, prospal recorded 29 goals and 57 points in 62 games during the 2007-08 season with the Lightning before he was dealt to the Flyers at the NHL trade deadline on February 26, 2008. His return to Philadelphia was short lived however, after only 18 regular season and 17 playoff games he was acquired by the Tampa Bay Lightning during the day of the NHL draft.
Aside from his two World Junior appearances, Prospal has also represented his homeland at the 2000, 2004 and 2005 World Championships, as well as the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and the 2006 Winter Olympics.
In the summer of 2009, the much travelled Prospal would once again find himself a free agent. On August 17, 2009, he took his act to Broadway, joining the New York Rangers.