Slovak Division 1 League Review 2000-01

By Daniel Kysel


Regular season of Slovak Division I League is over. The two best teams –Zilina and Nitra have been promoted and will play in Extraliga in the next season. This league was played without playoffs.

Stats of selected players:

Name, teamGPGAPts+/-PIM
Rene Pucher, Presov38313970+4940
Richard Safarik, Zilina39113849+3812
Miroslav Kristin, Zilina39291140+3826
Ondrej Kavulic, Prievidza3271724+530
Rene Jarolin, Sp.N.Ves2713922+1310
Peter Holecko, Sp.N.Ves38101222+922

Name, teamGPMin.GAASV%
Stanislav Kozuch, Zilina3016661,470,926
Matus Kostur, Nitra/Prievidza3218372,060,913
Ramon Sopko, Sp.N.Ves3318212,270,902

Quick review of top players and most interesting juniors on the league:

Rene Pucher (C, Presov, 1970) was a leading scorer in goals, assists as well as in the +/-. Former national team player is able to play in any top European Elite league. He collected 70 points in 38 games.

Stanislav Kozuch (G, Zilina, 71) was a leading goalie. His stats are very impressive however he played behind the best defense.

Matus Kostur (G, Nitra/Prievidza, 28.03.80, 6’0” 182 lb) was picked by New Jersey in last year. Matus was the best goalie of the league. Although I expected him to see on Extraliga, Zvolen’s coach sent him on the farm team then he was loaned to Nitra. He recorded amazing 0,932 saving percentage on Nitra.

Richard Safarik (F, Zilina, 75) was picked by Buffalo in 1993. His stats are solid but he is too far from the NHL.

Miroslav Kristin (LW, Zilina, 22.01.82, 6’0” 178 lb). Miro was the best junior of the Div. I, third leading goal scorer. He is pretty good skater, stickhandler and has excellent scoring ability. He needs to work on his defensive play. Very talented and the NHL prospect in my opinion. He skated on national junior team as well. He skated just in 4 games of regular season on junior team but he shined in the playoffs and lead his team to Slovak junior championship.

Ramon Sopko (G, Spisska Nova Ves, 06.04.81, 5’9” 158 lb). Most gifted goalie of the league. Smallish goalie with good reflexes. Impressive stats on Div. I. The best goalie of junior league when he recorded 0,937 SV% in 13 games.

Rene Jarolin (W, Sp.N.Ves, 16.09.81, 6’0” 186 lb) no amazing stats as Kristin but still solid ones. However Rene was leading scorer of junior league. He recorded 63 points (35G and 28A) in 41 games and +44 in the +/-.
His team-mate Peter Holecko (C, Sp.N.Ves, 13.01.82, 6’1” 189 lb) was center of the first line in the end of season. He should skate on national junior team in next season. He recorded most points per game on junior league (1,63 Pts/GP) totally 38 points in 23 games.

Ondrej Kavulic (F, Prievidza, 01.02.81, 5’10” 189 lb) This Czech youngster was leading scorer of his team. Moreover he belonged to top scorers of the junior league with 49 points in 34 games as well as 163
PIM. Ondrej recorded 79 games in regular season on three leagues. He skated on Zvolen (Extraliga), farm team in Prievidza (Div. I) and Zvolen Jr.