A look at how NHL prospects will fit into the plans of their Slovak Elite League teams in 2006-07.
Last season, MHC Martin didn‘t achieve much success. They ended the regular season in last place and therefore had to fight in the relegation playoff with the first team from the lower league. Luckily, the relegation playoff ended with success. So we will see again the two drafted prospects on the roster.
Ivan Kolozvary, LW/C
Drafted: Year 2001, Round 7, 198th overall, Toronto Maple Leafs
5‘9 176 lbs
Born: February 16, 1983 in Ilava
After one season with shuttling between the top Slovak league and the second Slovak league, Kolozvary finally found a solid place on the MHC Martin roster last season. He became a very important part of the team, impossible to imagine the roster without him. He was never considered a great goalscorer, but in the important matches he can take the responsibility on his shoulders and indeed scored an important goal. Confirmation of this is the last season of the relegation playoff, in which he was among the best team pointscorers. The preseason matches hint that this season could be even better. He plays relativaly cleanly, and received only 20 PIM in the 54 matches last year.
Frantisek Skladany, C
Drafted: Year 2001, Round 5, 143th overall, Colorado Avalanche
6´0 183 lbs
Born: April 24, 1982 in Martin
Skladany is another player that returned from North America, having played last season in the AHL for Lowell Lock Monsters and a pair of games in the ECHL for San Diego Gulls. This very fast skater can win many battles in front of the net and create chances. A line formation with a solid goalscoring right wing, Skladany on the center and probably Kolozvary on the left wing will make a lot of trouble for the opposition defense.
HK 36 Skalica
Last season, Hk 36 Skalica was merely average. They ended in eighth place in the regular season and that guaranted the playoff. In the quarterfinal they fought with the Hkm Nitra and did it well. But after the 3-4 loss, the season was over.
Ivan Dornic, C
Drafted: Year 2003, Round 6, 176th overall, New York Rangers
6´1 190 lbs
Born: April 12, 1985 in Bratislava
Ivan Dornic developed in his hometown with HC Slovan Bratislava. His father also played for this team, drafted in 1984 by the Edmonton Oilers. Ivan should prove his place on the Slovan Bratislava roster. But before the transfer deadline he had to go to his present team, HK 36 Skalica. Here he found his place on the third line and hopefully will be there also in the following season.
Nitra was the blackhorse last season, the winner of the regular season. But in the semifinal they were bounced against the future winner, Mshk Zilina. But the breakout caused a hockey boom in the city so management has decided to improve the roster and among the most shining reinforcement should be Juraj Gracik.
Juraj Gracik, RW
Drafted: Year 2004, Round 5, 142th overall, Atlanta Thrashers
6´3 194 lbs
Born: August 14, 1986 in Topolcany
For the last two seasons, Gracik played in the WHL for the Tri City Americans. This seaon, Gracik decided to play senior hockey and therefore he moved back to his home country. This power forward with a a good nose for the goal has the skills to be the shining player in the Slovak top league. He has a strong board play, good skating, excellent puckhandling and a great shot. Gracik will be a great player in the first two lines.
HC Slovan Bratislava
Slovan Bratislava has a glorious history in the Slovak hockey history. Every season with the highest targets, they had to sign very skilled players to achieve this intention, so prospects have it very tough to find a stable place on the roster. The only drafted prospect in Slovan Bratislava‘s roster is a defenseman Michal Sersen.
Michal Sersen, D
Drafted: Year 2004, Round 5, 130th overall, Pittsburgh Penguins
6´1 200 lbs
Born: December 28, 1985 in Gelnica
The last three seasons, Sersen played in the QMJHL for Rimouski Oceanic and Quebec Remparts. He is touted as a defenseman with a great offensive abilities, very useful on the power play. That is the player that the coach of Slovan Bratislava is looking for.
Notes: None of the 2006 draftees will compete in the Slovak Elite League. All will compete in the CHL. Below are their teams.
Tomas Marcinko – OHL Barrie Colts
Tomas Zaborsky — OHL Saginaw Spirit
Juraj Simek – WHL Brandon Wheat Kings
Lukas Zeliska — WHL Prince Albert Raiders
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