At the recent Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, the international ice hockey community got to see a number of young men available for the 2016 and even 2017 drafts. In Milos Roman of Slovakia, it witnessed a player first eligible for the 2018 draft, but you’d never have known it with the way he played, taking a regular shift on the team’s third line.
Young, learning the ropes, and humble but not shy, Hockey’s Future spoke with the young player about this and other experiences.
Hockey’s Future: What have you learned at this tournament?
Milos Roman: These games gave me great experience for the years to come and have definitely showed me what I need to do to be better and more competitive in the years to come, at this and other tournaments next year.
HF: Is this your first international tournament?
MR: No, I’ve played in several tournaments including the U17 Challenge in Canada. I’ve done a lot with most of the guys at this tournament and feel myself to be part of this team.
HF: After facing Russia, Finland, and the USA, what are some of the things you will want to improve on this winter? What are things you will need to be able to play against the competition from teams like these in the future?
MR: I definitely need to improve my skating, especially when it comes to that all-important first step or two. I also need to improve my patience with the puck. I need to get away from rushing plays that aren’t there.
HF: Where do you plan on spending this upcoming season?
MR: I played in the Czech Republic last season for a U18 club. I am now scheduled to be in Trinec’s U20 league team as an underager.
HF: What are some of your personal goals this season?
MR: Making the junior team in Trinec, as planned. That isn’t a given and there’s plenty of competition. Then I’d like to end the season on the Slovakian national team playing at the U18 World Championship in North Dakota. That would be fantastic and I’m very excited about that opportunity.
HF: Who are your favorite players and role models?
MR: My clear-cut favorite is Evgeny Malkin. I like how he controls the puck at high speeds and how he’s able to play with it in corners and off the boards.
HF: Is that the style of game you like to play, or how would otherwise describe yourself as a player?
MR: Maybe one day I’ll be able to play like that. For now, I like to do what the team needs of me, namely blocking shots, cutting off passing routes, going hard on the forecheck… That kind of thing. I think that I’m a pass-first type of player, and that is one of the things I can do fairly well, but will be getting better at.
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