2004 prospect interview: Vaclav Meidl

By Robert Neuhauser

Vaclav Meidl
Team: HC Ocelari Trinec midgets
Position: forward
Birthdate: May, 27th, 1986
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 180 lbs.
Shoots: L

Vaclav Meidl, a darkhorse for the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, is not so well known as his Under-16
teammates Jakub Sindel, Michal Birner or Karel Hromas. But the sized Trinec winger
has the tools to play Canadian hockey and can easily become a coveted prospect. Meidl
plays a mix of skill, toughness and grit and gives a lot to the team. A playmaking forward
with a nice hockey sense was kind enough to answer some questions after the game of his
midget team.

When did you start playing hockey?

This was when I was five years old.

Where did you start playing hockey?

I started playing in Prostejov, it’s the city where I was born and it is near from
Olomouc. And now I’m in Trinec.

Who directed your first hockey steps?

My dad influenced me a lot. He also played hockey when he was younger and he brought
me to the game and gave me the first tips.

What is your biggest success in hockey so far?

I was very happy when I was selected to play for the Under-16 team and this would
be my biggest success in hockey so far.

Who is your biggest fan?

I would mention my dad again, he watches lots of my games and supports me a lot.
After the games we discuss my performance and he tries to give me some useful tips
how to improve my game.

Who is your hockey role model?

I watch Washington Capitals’ Jaromir Jagr a lot, he is one of the best Czech players ever
and I respect him very much.

Your favorite team in the Czech Republic?

When speaking about the senior Extraleague, I’m a fan of Vsetin.

Your favorite NHL team?

No doubt, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Do you have a favorite number you like to wear on your jersey?

I prefer to wear the number 14 on my back. I wear it when I play for the Under-16 team,
in the Trinec midget team teammate Radomir Cizek wears the 14, so I have the number
two times bigger, the 28.

How would you describe yourself as a player?

I think that my biggest asset is my size, I’m quite big and I have the physical tools
for Canadian hockey. I have lots of things to work on, I would mention agility and speed.

Do you have a player you like to play with?

I wouldn’t like to point out one exact player. I like to play with all the guys and I don’t
have any specific player I like to have on my line.

Have you had any serious injury in your previous career?

My only injury was two years ago, I hurt my knee.

Do you plan playing in the CHL in two years?

It isn’t very likely but things can change. Right now I would say that I would prefer
to stay at home instead of coming over to North America.

Do you think that the Canadian style of hockey will suit you?

I think I can handle this styl quite well. I have solid size and I try to be physical
and I guess I would adjust to the Canadian style quite quickly.

How do you see your chances in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft?

I haven’t thought about it very much till now. But I don’t care which team will select
me, my goal is to be drafted at all, that would be great.

What do you do in your free time?

Also in my free time I do sports, mostly soccer and basketball with my schoolmates.
Speaking of school, now I study the secondary school and it is important for me.

What makes you happy and what makes you sad?

I very happy when my performance is OK and the team is working well. And I like the
feeling when I score a goal. On the other side I mind the bad behaviour of the players,
I don’t like this.

What’s your main goal for this season?

My goals are connected with the team’s performance. First we want to make the playoffs
and once we have achieved this mark, then our sights are set on the championship title.
We want to win the title and we can do it!

What about your future with the junior national team?

The only thing I would say about it is that I try to stick with the team as long as I can.
I’m very proud to play for my own country.

And your hockey dreams?

Definitely the NHL, that’s without any doubt!