Ivan Dornic started his career with his local team in Bratislava in the 2002-03 season, playing 33 games for the junior team, and dressing for 15 games on the senior team. In 2002 he played on the Slovakian World U-18 Team, playing an important role on the silver medalists, scoring 2 goals and 2 assists to go with solid two-way play. This was no doubt instrumental in the New York Rangers’ selection of Dornic in the 6th round of the 2003 draft. He showed enough promise in his domestic and international play, to warrant the Portland Winter Hawks’ first round selection (8th overall) in the 2003 CHL Import Draft.
His time in Portland has been marked with inconsistent play as he adjusted to the North American style of play. In his first season, he was put on every line, hoping to find a fit in the Hawks’ offense. However, he never really seemed comfortable with his overall play. This didn’t dampen his spirits, as his play did improve as the season progressed. Towards the end of the season, he was creating at least one quality chance a game, though he seemed snake-bitten in his attempts to actually score with consistency.
Dornic is a strong competitor, and by all accounts a great guy to have in the locker room. Dornic doesn't really excel at any one facet of the game, he's more of a jack of all trades. He has good movement around the ice, though he does not possess blinding speed. The single best characteristic about Dornic's play, is that he's always either trying to drive the puck towards the net, or he's in front of the net trying to cause havoc. He must have had some good coaching in the past, because he truly knows how to create chances.
His achilles heel thus far has been learning how to finish them. His touch around the net needs some work, but the building blocks are there. His passing skills are more than servicable for the junior levels, and his slap shot is accurate, though not overpowering. Defensively, Dornic has shown dramatic improvement from his arrival in Portland. He's not afraid to bang with guys much better than himself, and he certainly doesn't shy away from contact when necessary.
With enough time and proper coaching, and a lot of working his stickhandling around the net, Dornic possibly could see time on an NHL roster. The most likely path he'll take is through the minors, as any team could benefit from having a good locker room guy who doesn't mind getting to the net. If a team like the Rangers sees a few injuries cut into their depth in the future, a guy like Dornic could see some time.