Slovak Hockey Update

By Daniel Kysel

End of Regular Season 1999-2000

Slovak Elite (West Extraliga)

The Slovak Elite (Extraliga) regular season is now over and we now know which teams have
play-off berths, which team has been demoted as well as what new team will be in the
Extraliga for next season.

Please find below basic data of Extraliga:

Slovan Bratislava5634157233:13375
HKm Zvolen5631169219:16171
SKP Poprad5629198182:16266
Dukla Trencin5627209207:15163
HK36 Skalica56232211159:17557
HK32 L. Mikulas56202016157:18456
HC Kosice56123311142:23535
HK VTJ S. N. Ves56 9407114:22125

STATISTICS (after 56 games)

Leading scorers
Name, year of birth, teamGPGAPts+/-PIM
1Vlastimil Plavucha (68), Zvolen54432972+4476
2ZdenoCiger (69), Bratislava51233962+2948
3Arne Krotak (72), Poprad56332861+2564
4Richard Sechny (71), Zvolen49243155+2948
5Jan Plch (74), Poprad56243155+2736
6Petr Vlk (64), L.Mikulas55154055+362
7Lubomir Kolnik (68), Bratislava55282452+3530
8Lubomir Hurtaj (75), Trencin56252752+3318
9Vasilij Pankov (68), Bratislava55223052+4548
10Jan Lipiansky (74), Bratislava46302151+3918

Leading scorers - defencemen
Name, year of birth, teamGPGAPts+/-PIM
1Lubomir Visnovsky (76), Bratislava52212445+6438
2Robert Pukalovic (60), Zvolen48 73037+2518
3Richard Pavlikovsky (75), Trencin51161531+2636

Leading goalies
Name, year of birth, teamGPMin.ShotsGAGAAPerc.
1Igor Murin (73), Trencin53303115581282,5391,78%
2 Radovan Biegl (69), Bratislava4625911106 922,1391,68%
3Miro Simonovic (74), Poprad52304717151452,8691,55%
4Rasto Rovnianek (69), Zvolen45237611371012,5591,12%
5Miro Lipovsky (76), Skalica54296516311442,9191,17%

Plus/Minus Leaders
Name, year of birth, teamGPGAPts+/-PIM
1Lubomir Visnovsky (76), Bratislava52212445+6438
2Daniel Babka (72), Bratislava544812+5140
3Vasilij Pankov (68), Bratislava55223052+4548
Vlastimil Plavucha (68), Zvolen54432972+4476
Jan Lipiansky (74), Bratislava46302151+3918

Vlasto Plavucha ended the season as the leagues top scorer with 72 points.
Top goalies were Rado Biegl and Igor Murin. Lubo Visnovsky leads all D-men in scoring and dominated the +/- category with a +64 rating.
Zdeno Ciger and Lubo Visnovsky are the best players of the Extraliga in my opinion. You can find
several foreign players among above players as well. Biegl and Vlk are Czechs, and Pankov
is Belorussian.

Stats of selected juniors

Name, year of birth, teamGPMin.ShotsGAGAAPerc.
Peter Hamerlik (82), Skalica 7286153163,3689,54%
Matus Kostur (80), Zvolen20768321362,8188,79%
Karol Krizan (80), L. Mikulas54303216591512,9990,90%

Defencemen and forwards
Name, year of birth, position, teamGPGAPts+/-PIM
Dusan Devecka (80), RD, L. Mikulas49000-1818
Stefan Fabian (81), LD, Kosice40134-2212
Boris Flamik (80), RD, Skalica31000-916
Tomas Frolo (82), D, Zvolen 2000 00
Marian Gaborik (82), LW, Trencin50252146+134
Ladislav Harabin (80), LD, Poprad41178-744
Lukas Hvila (81), W, Poprad 7101-110
Pavol Hruby (81), C-W, S.N.Ves15000-88
Jaroslav Jabrocky (80), RW, Poprad344711-118
Peter Jasik (80), RW, Trencin24325-10
Marek Kolba (80), LD, Poprad434913+630
Tomas Kopecky (82), C, Trencin52347-824
Peter Kristian (80), W, S.N.Ves27303-152
Branko Mamic (80), D, L.Mikulas 5000+24
Tomas Nadazdi (80), LD, S.N.Ves42178-2614
Juraj Podhradsky (81), F, Trencin 7000-22
Samuel Polomsky (80), C, S.N.Ves32325-1818
Michal Ruzicka (81), LW, Skalica 6000 02
Gabriel Spilar (80), C, Kosice4410616-298
Tomas Starosta (81), RD, Trencin35000-158
Marek Svatos (82), F, Kosice19224-70
Roman Tomas (80), C-W, Poprad18369+64
Vladimir Urban (80), LD, L.Mikulas27202-1616
Alexander Valentin (81), D, Kosice21022-86
Lubos Velebny (82), D, Zvolen 7000 00
Martin Zajac (81), LD, Trencin18000-30

Commentary on the junior players


Matus Kostur is a solid goalie prospect for Slovak Extraliga and maybe for other European Elites but he is far from NHL caliber. Due to the injury of the teams #1 goalie he saw much more ice time than in the beginning of season. His performances had progressive tendency and he satisfied his coach as well as the fans. By the way, he recorded an admirable 175 minutes without allowing a goal.

Defensemen Lubos Velebny (CSB #47 in European ranking) and Tomas Frolo (CSB #53 in Euro) are gifted kids but they played only several shifts in 7 and/or 2 games only.


Unfortunately this team ignores youngsters. No junior played on the senior team this season. In the last three seasons only one junior – Peter Podhradsky – has found a regular spot in lineup.


Ladislav Harabin was extremely talented kid at age 17, he was very talented at 18, he is talented at 19. But what will be in the next season? After WC U20 he lost a regular spot on his team. He is tough and aggressive player and loves physical game. He is still good prospect but the expectations on him were much higher. His progress changed on stagnation.

Marek Kolba was ranked (as Harabin) on the CSB list two years ago. I do not expect to see his name in the NHL draft but he might follow Peter Podhradsky who plays on national team yet after excellent performances on the U20 national team last season. Marek uses his body very well and has an accurate shot from the point.

Jaro Jabrocky and Roman Tomas proved they are gifted offensive forwards who are able to shine on Extraliga in next years. Both have potential to collect a lot of points.


Trencin is the best supplier of players for the NHL from Slovakia and this year is no exception.

Marian Gaborik “Brambor” (his nickname) is a BIG TIME PROSPECT (CSB #2 in Euro). He is a pretty good skater with amazing acceleration and quickness, very aggressive on both ends, very impressive stickhandler with good shot, excellent desire, attitude and work ethic, and many other assets. Comparing him to Marian Hossa at age 18, he is the same or better in every aspect. However Hossa was better in one thing – scoring ability. It looks like Gaborik needs a lot of chances to score the goal. I believe he will be the first #1 from Slovakia in NHL draft ever. If not, never mind he will play in the NHL next season at any rate.

Tomas Kopecky (CSB #11 in Euro) is the other very gifted kid with good size from Trencin. Tomas is a good skater for his size, and a good team player who is willing to learn. Although Pre-season CSB ranking did not know his name I have mentioned him in my article on HF in October yet. His ice time was limited at the end of season due to below reason. However Tomas has played his first senior season while Gaborik is in his third one. I guess next season will say much more about Tomas’ talent if he stays on Extraliga. Or on major junior?

Peter Jasik started pretty well but after the return of experienced players from the injury list he was sent back to the junior leagues. Lately he played on Division 1 as well.
Other forward Juraj Podhradsky played only a few games and his time should come next season.

Tomas Starosta is a very good defenseman who can play offensive as well as defensive play. Tomas is a good skater. He passes well and plays his position very well. However Trencin’s roster included 9 solid D-men and he did not see enough ice time – unfortunately.

Martin Zajac (CSB #51 in Euro) is a big muscled defenseman. He uses his body well and moves the man without taking a lot of penalties. He came to Trencin from Nitra (Division 1). I do not know what was better for him. He was their key player and saw plenty of ice time on Nitra’s team while he played very irregularly on Trencin.


Coach of Skalica Dusan Ziska was head coach of national team U20 but he omits junior players on his own team. It sounds like a joke but it is true. Note: Ziska was fired at the end of regular season.

Yes, I agree Peter Hamerlik (CSB #1 goalie in Euro) is a rare talent among European junior goalies but I do not think he is a first round selection. His performances has not been real steady.
He changes excellent days with foolish ones e.g. Viking Cup, games on Extraliga. I cannot imagine him being a #1 goalie on Skalica’s senior team. While Krizan at the same age was #1 on his team and his teammates could rely on him in every situation. Peter is just not that type of goalie. In spite of the above mentioned, Peter is a really big prospect with the potential to play in the NHL within 4-5 years.

Boris Flamik got a chance only due to injured D-men after Christmas break. From that point he supported the first line. Good step into senior hockey for the rookie.

One of the top snipers of the junior league Michal Ruzicka has played only a few games. He has potential to score tons of goals.

Liptovsky Mikulas

Karol Krizan is my favorite player. He has played behind weak defenses but his stats are pretty good. By the way LM has missed three experienced D-men (due to injuries) and played with 3 – 4 defensemen in many games. I cannot understand why he is overlooked by scouts. Of course I can imagine their reaction: “he is small, his style is not good, etc.” I know his performances are not excellent in each game but you cannot have too big expectation from 19 year old goalie. Believe me Karol was born for the NHL. His only weakness is he had to feel he is a #1 goalie on the team. In order he was drafted, Karol needs to prove his qualities on the national (junior or senior) team as well.

Vladimir Urban had a good start this season and played on U20 national team as well. He is strong on his skates and controls the front of his own net. Many people looked forward to see his progress on Extraliga. Unfortunately he suffered a knee injury (meniscus) in the first game after his return from WC U20 and the season was over for him.

Dusan Devecka was ranked by CSB two years ago. He is solid defenseman for Slovak hockey but not NHL caliber.

Branko Mamic was the first Yugoslav player in the Slovak leagues ever.


Kosice’s team was one of the best ones in former Czecho-Slovak and later in Slovak leagues from mid-80th. Present situation is much worse. Many experienced players left and that is why a lot of youngsters played on the team this season.

Gabriel Spilar had a shy start of season and played dully. From the mid-season he played much better and coach gave a chance him to skate on the first line. He came on strong near the end of season on Extraliga. Spilar with Gaborik, Kopecky and Krizan were the most exciting juniors at the end of season.

Marek Svatos is a very gifted small winger with potential to score a lot of goals. He has good acceleration, quickness and a solid wrist and slapshot. It looked like he has found a regular spot on the senior team but he suffered shoulder separation in February and was lost for the season.

Stefan Fabian found a regular spot in weak Kosice’s defense. He is a player with good hockey sense but he is too small for North American hockey.

Alex Valentin is not tall but is a strong muscled defenseman. He was ranked by CSB last year. He plays a good defensive style without taking penalties. Lately he has not played regularly.

Spisska Nova Ves

Samuel Polomsky had a good start of the season. After 13 games he collected 3 goals and 2 assists. From that time on he has not scored and has definitely faded.

Tomas Nadazdi is a smooth skater and good passer but he would need to be more aggressive in front of his own net and in the corners. He needs more muscles and weight. In spite of this Tomas was one of the best defensemen on his team. He missed the last 8 games due to ankle injury.

Peter Kristian is a solid forward as well as is Pavol Hruby but both played irregularly.

Two youngsters playing abroad

Name, year of birth, position, teamGPGAPts+/-PIM
Jan Homer (80), D, Zlin (Czech Elite)26167+5N/A
Andrej Nedorost (80), RW, Essen (German Elite)50336-1426

Jan Homer is a very hopeful defenseman. He has begun the season on Czech Division 1 but later he played regularly on the top Czech team (second-leading team after regular season).

Andrej Nedorost plays on the worst team of German Elite (DEL). He could not show his talent on that team. Andrej had a good offer from Trencin’s general manager in September. Maybe he regrets now that he did not skate on his mother’s team – Trencin.


Play-off games started on last Friday. Bratislava leads 2 : 0 (10:2, 2:0) against Trencin after two games. Poprad leads 1 : 0 (2:0) against Zvolen.