A native of the Czech Republic, Popperle played much of the 2004-05 season with Czech ExtraLeague powerhouse Sparta Praha (also seeing time in the First Division), beginning the season as the team’s backup goaltender. After injury befell their starter midway through the season, Popperle seized the starting job and dazzled, compiling an impressive record of 15 wins, nine losses, and 1 tie, while posting a sparkling goals against average of 1.58 and a save percentage of 94.9 (both figures led the league), helping to lead his team to second in league standings.
Popperle improved vastly as the season went along, gaining more poise between the pipes and increasing his decision-making abilities immensely, cutting back on bad goals and staying in position. He is positionally strong with quick lateral movement.
The Blue Jackets have already opted to sign the goaltender, in hopes to bring him over to North America this season to better evaluate his position on the depth chart.