Janos Vas was born in Dunaferr, Hungary in 1984 and that is where he began playing hockey. He played in an international tournament with his team in Denmark in 2000 and was spotted by a coach of the Malmö Red Hawks, and ever since, he has been a MIF Red Hawk.
During the 2000-01 season, Vas spent most of the year with MIF’s U20 Team. He was used mainly in a fourth line role, so he did not see a lot of minutes. Considering his minutes, his numbers were quite respectable. With the 2001-02 season, Vas saw his role expand significantly, and his production responded accordingly. He jumped from the fourth line of MIF’s U20 team to the top line.
The 2002-03 season was somewhat difficult for the young winger. Vas was bounced between several levels of Swedish hockey all in one year. In the early season, Vas saw time with both MIF’s SEL and U20 teams. In the SEL, he was used in an extremely limited role, mostly playing barely at all. With the U20 team, Vas was one of its top players still, but playing there was not that much of a boon to his development. Also during the year, Vas suited up with Troja/Ljungby in the second tier of the Swedish system and Pantern in Sweden’s 1st division. However, the year of travels also ended on a sour note when Vas suffered a serious knee injury.
Now, at age 19, Vas has seen significant international action for his home country Hungary. He has competed in three IIHF-run junior competitions, two of which are U20 level, and two IIHF-run senior level tournaments. In 2000, he led Hungary in point scoring at the U18 European Junior Championships. In 2001, Vas suited up for Hungary’s senior national team at the Division I World Championships at the age of 17. He followed in 2002 with an appearance at the Division II U20 World Junior Championships and the Division I World Championships. In 2003, Vas was dominant at the Division II U20 World Junior Championships for Hungary in the two games he played. He may have again skated for the men’s national team if not for his injury.
Strengths: Vas is very skilled and plays a very aggressive game. His offensive skill set is highlighted by great passing and excellent stickhandling. Also, Vas possesses good hockey sense, making him useful on both the power play and penalty kill. He loves to hit and shows good work ethic. With the rehab time for his knee injury, Vas has added bulk and has a professional sized frame.
Weaknesses: First on Vas's plate is to recover from his knee injury and re-establish the game he played before it. Adding the size he has will not be useful if he is afraid to hit. The other thing Vas really needs to work on is establishing consistency in his offensive production. Vas has shown the ability to produce with the best at most levels he has played at, but he has not always been able to maintain that production for extended stretches. This may limit his NHL-effectiveness. He also needs to work on adding speed.