Slovak Roster Before World Junior Championship

By Daniel Kysel

World junior championship is coming closer and ten national teams will travel to Russian Moscow and Podolsk to contest for golden, silver and bronze medals.

Slovak national coaches Jan Selvek and Jozef Fruhauf decided to open a camp for Slovak adepts in Dubnica (by the way Pavol Demitra is Dubnica native). They invited 28 players who will compete for 22 national jerseys. The roster is very interesting. I do not think any national team would have players from more leagues than Slovak. Ten players are from CHL (five WHL, three OHL, two QMJHL), two ones play in the U.S. junior A leagues, one is from IHL, thirteen kids skate in the Slovak Extraliga (senior Elite), one players is from Slovak Div.I league and the last one is from Slovak junior league.

Five of them – Bartovic, Vydareny, Hossa, Kopecky and Starosta have the experiences from the last championship. The coaches could not consider with Marian Gaborik (Minnesota) and Kristian Kudroc (Detroit – IHL) who were not released by their NHL teams.

Let us to see the roster containing 28 names:

Name               Born         Team          League      Drafted by
Peter Budaj        18-09-1982   Toronto       OHL         -
Peter Hamerlik     02-01-1982   Kingston      OHL         Pittsburgh
Lubomir Pisar      04-02-1981   Martin        Extraliga   -

Name               Born         Team          League      Drafted by
Miroslav Durak     09-06-1981   Sherbrooke    QMJHL       Nashville
Stefan Fabian      10-02-1981   Kosice        Extraliga   -
Ladislav Gabris    18-03-1981   Trencin       Extraliga   -
Tomas Jurco        04-12-1981   Poprad        Extraliga   -
Tomas Malec        13-05-1982   Rimouski      QMJHL       -
Tomas Slovak       05-04-1983   Kosice        Extraliga   -
Tomas Starosta     20-05-1981   Trencin       Extraliga   -
Lubos Velebny      09-02-1982   Waterloo      USHL        Toronto
Rene Vydareny      06-05-1981   Kansas City   IHL         Vancouver
Martin Zajac       25-10-1981   Trencin       Extraliga   -

Name               Born         Team          League      Drafted by
Jozef Balej        22-02-1982   Portland      WHL         Montreal
Milan Bartovic     09-04-1981   Brandon       WHL         Buffalo
Marek Dubec        26-02-1982   Zilina        Juniors     -
Martin Drotar      05-11-1981   Kosice        Extraliga   -
Peter Gajdos       13-02-1982   Kosice        Extraliga   -
Marcel Hossa       12-10-1981   Portland      WHL         Montreal
Lukas Hvila        30-11-1981   Poprad        Extraliga   -
Tomas Kopecky      05-02-1982   Lethbridge    WHL         Detroit
Miroslav Kristin   22-01-1982   Zilina        Division I  -
Michal Macho       17-01-1982   Martin        Extraliga   San Jose
Michal Ruzicka     01-11-1981   Skalica       Extraliga   -
Tomas Surovy       24-09-1981   Poprad        Extraliga   -
Peter Szabo        21-03-1981   Danville      NAHL        -
Tomas Skvaridlo    16-06-1981   Kingston      OHL         Pittsburgh
Roman Tvrdon       29-01-1981   Spokane       WHL         Washington

As you can see eleven kids were selected by NHL teams yet. Other ones are waiting for 2001 NHL draft or maybe the others. WJC will show who is real NHL prospect and who is not but the rest of season may be good indicator as well. In my opinion following players will be watched in detail:

Tomas Surovy – the best junior playing in Slovakia
Tomas Slovak – the top CSB ranked Slovak (Who may be the best Slovak if not Slovak?)
Tomas Malec – amazing rookie season on QMJHL
Lubo Pisar – very gifted goalie on senior league.

But other ones can prove their talents too – Starosta, Zajac, Dubec, Fabian, Kristin etc.

I hope Selvek and Fruhauf will select better team than Zizka in last year. Slovak team has earned disgraceful 9th spot on last championship. However Selvek is much clever guy and has better coaching ability than Zizka. He should avoid the same shame.

Other adepts who were not invited: Svatos, Oravec, Pohanka (all WHL), Psenka, Hudec (QMJHL), Skladany (HE), Valentin, Makara, Bokros, Stehlik, Sopko (all Slovak leagues), Kolarik (Czech Div.I), etc.