Mezei Stands Out For Struggling Isles

By Jonathan Litterine
Not very much has gone right for the 2000-2001 New York Islanders. To to
their terrible play their coach has lost his job. Yet one of very few bright
spots, has been the play of Branislav Mezei. Mezei a 6’4 , 221 pound rookie
defenseman is a native of Nitra, Slovakia. He started the year in Lowell of
the American Hockey League. Yet do to injuries and poor play, he arrived in
the show probably earlier then the Islanders would have liked. Yet Mezei has
accepted the challenge and made the most of his chances. Mezei logs a lot of
ice time and is an extremely physical defenseman. He is not a goon. He very
rarely fights. Yet a few nights ago in Pittsburgh, he proved he can stand up
to the NHL’s tough guys. With a bunch of his teammates being bullied around
by Krzysztof Oliwa, Mezei jumped in a did very well in an all out brawl with
one of the best fighters in the league. Mezei is very very talented on the
offensive end, proving it time and time again with numerous great outlet
passes. There is no doubt the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League
greatly miss his presence in their lineup. Mezei played for Belleville for 3
years before getting his shot this year. There might be something in the
water over in Nitra, Slovakia. Juraj Kolnik, a Islander rookie forward was
also born in the Slovakian town. The two friends have been two of a list of
small success stories for the Islanders this year. Look for more from both
Mezei and Kolnik in the very near future.