Coach Ernest Bokros has been double-shifting this winter as the U20 and U18 Slovakia national team coach, but he’ll only be bringing one player to the upcoming U18 who was also with him at the WJC, namely forward Martin Reway. And that’s only if Reway is healthy enough to go. What he’ll also be bringing along with him are three of the five oldest players at the tournament as well as the tournament’s youngest participant.
How often does one hear about a draft prospect whose dad was a pro hockey player and now that kid, who hasn't turned 18 yet, is looking to make his career bigger than his father's career and in fact looks like he might pull it off? Several names could come to mind, with Canadians' Griffin Reinhart or Max Domi being two recent examples of talented, young players following in the footsteps of well-known fathers that are now NHL alumni.
On the first day of tournament play at the 2013 World Junior Championship, Slovakia fell just short of what might have been the tournament’s biggest sensation when it turned around a 2-0 Russian lead to force the game to overtime, where Russian defenseman Albert Yarullin scored on a power play goal to decide it, 3-2.
For hockey fans across the globe, the preliminary round of the 2013 IIHF WJC has been just about everything anyone had ever hoped for. There’s been no lack of tension, rivalries, intrigue and background stories that have come together to make this tournament the type that fans everywhere crave.