Under-18 WJC: Czech Republic Team Preview

by Robert Neuhauser
on

The eyes of almost all NHL scouts now focus on the Finnish cities Lahti, Heinola and the
capital Helsinky. The Under-18 WJC, a hilight for the players preparing for the NHL Entry
Draft, takes place in Finland between April, 12th, 2001 and April, 22nd, 2001. The Czech team,
however he is very succesfull at the Under-20 WJC, is still overcoming a six year drought
for a medal. Only twice since the break of Czechoslovakia in 1993 the Czechs were able to
bring home a medal. This was in 1993 and 1994 when they finished with a back-to-back bronze medal.

That year, 1994, the Czech boasted the likes of current NHLers like Tomas Vokoun in goal, Petr
Buzek and Pavel Trnka on defense and Patrik Elias, Petr Sykora, Vaclav Varada, Radek Dvorak,
Jan Hlavac, Josef Marha and Jan Hrdina on forward. Last year the Under-18 WJC was a sixth place disaster
and only three of the 13 players eligible were selected in the draft. Coming back from the
previous year’s team are Jiri Novotny and Petr Puncochar.

This year it’s a whole new squad, which has a big change.

For the first time in history the
head coach Jiri Kalous was permitted to select also players playing in the CHL this season.

That is mainly to the big success of the CHL players with the Under-20 team, where they
contributed heavily to the golden success. In this historic moment Jiri Kalous selected three
players, Lukas Krajicek of the Peterborough Petes and Jan Platil of the Barrie Colts on defense
and Frantisek Bakrlik, also from the Colts, on forward. They should boost the team’s ov Read more»

Tomas Duba- Tomas who?

by Ivana Paulova
on

Czech goaltender Tomas Duba is certainly well known by the scouts these days but it is not that long ago when most of you would have said “Tomas who?“ Due to his excellent performance in the 2001 Junior World Championship his name is fast becoming a house-hold word – well at least a hockey-household word. The Czech team had been expected to perform well and most of the people saw only one question mark and it was above the position of the goaltender at the Championship. There were many excellent goaltenders: Ahonen or DiPietro. In the Czech goal there was ‘only’ “ Tomas who?” But Tomas Duba showed his class right in the first match and crowned his performance by winning a trophy for the best goaltender of the championship as well as the gold medal for the Czech team.

He was born on 2nd July 1981 so he could have been drafted 2 years ago. It was a disappointment for him when none of the teams picked him in the 1999 draft. This year he sees the draft as a chance not as a major goal. He does not want to look forward to it because it may simply fuel another disappointment. But there is difference between Tomas Duba 2 years ago and Tomas Duba now. Today he has more experience and an extra 2 gold medals from the Junior World Championships. He has gained more confidence and he has learned how to cope with failures. There is no reason to rush so he still keeps all the options open. Now he is rated the number 1 European goaltender for the oncoming draft.

And the history of this star? When he first came to the stadium of HC Read more»

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