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Found 6 results

  1. D’Win Championships during his time with his development coaches First game in the VHLM D’ Win Championships was born on November 24, 1999 in the capital of his home country, Stockholm, Sweden. By the time D’Win was barely two years old, his father, Björn Championships, started him in a learn-to-skate program at the local rink, The Danicallahen. Improving quickly, onlookers saw the immediate potential in D’Win and set him up to work with the best development coaches in Sweden. After working his tail end off until around the age of 10, tragedy struck as his mother, Bengta Avidvark Championships, passed away after being in a fatal car accident. This had an immediate affect on D’Win as his mother was his number one fan. Although this set him back, D’Win would try harder and harder everyday with the goal to one day head overseas and be a major contender in the Victory Hockey League. By the time D’Win turned 16 years old, he was immediately recruited to join the SHL in which he joined Frölunda HC. After learning many little things to develop his game, he was given a D partner Rasmus Dahlin to which they immediately became very close. They would often grab dinner together, prank other people, and they would even opt to room together on team trips in the hotel room. Dahlin influxes Championships to play his heart out to accomplish his dream of making it to professional hockey overseas and soon become a major role for any team he would play for. D’Win’s father Björn always would try to give him some advice about friendships and people. Championships recalls many of these teaching moments formed a tight bond with his father. “People come and go, but real people will come back.” Björn would tell this to D’Win whenever he would feel down in the dumps about people or when he had to break up with his girlfriend of two years to focus on his career. This quote especially is relevant to Rasmus Dahlin’s friendship with D’Win. This is because Dahlin’s career took off after Frölunda, getting drafted to the NHL by the Buffalo Sabres first overall. Though Dahlin and Championships’ careers took different turns, they still try to hang out back in Stockholm or other cities around the world whenever they can. His Professional Career Championships played with Frölunda until he was 18 years of age. He then went to search for his professional career in North America. He would join the Swedish world junior team and play in the championship game. They would go on to lose to Canada in the finals, however, Championship told us in a interview that, “ Loved every second of it. It was like a dream come true to represent my country in a way like this. We also made it to this game. To me, that’s pretty damn good.” This came to no surprise that he was happy with his performance. Championships but up a staggering 11pts (5 goals 5 assists) in just six games! This performance impressed many scouts for both the NHL and the VHL. After being contacted from both leagues, Championships decided to begin his career in the VHLM with the Philadelphia Reapers. Championships and His Rookie Season In the VHLM Championships was a highly touted prospect ever since he was scouted along side his good friend Rasmus Dahlin. He entered the free agency pool right before season 65 began. A few offers later, Championships sook his refuge with the Philadelphia Reapers after receiving a one year, $1,500,000 offer from the team’s GM, Blade. She immediately saw the success he was having and was willing to take a chance with him. Before the season started, Championships would meet his future teammate and friend, Cody Parkey, at a hockey development camp in New York City. It’s here that he learned what it meant to play professional hockey and the humbleness involved. He learned that he must remain as if he weren’t a pro, but as if he was a normal everyday person with a job to do. After a week of camp, Parkey and Championships saw their uprising to the VHLM. Due to the newness of D’Win, he was scratched the first few games and told to observe the game. He would keep track of the intense speed, the passing, and what the defensemen would do as players came down on them. During one of the games, Championships saw success for the Reapers as they notched out their first ever win with Kandee Cain in net. In his first game for the Reapers, Championships saw a little success in their loss against the 21st. He totaled four hits with two blocked shots and finished +1 on the night. After the game we asked D’Win on the type of player he compared to and on how he viewed his new team. “That’s a good question. I would probably go with my good friend Rasmus Dahlin. He is the same height at around 6’2” and about the same weight of 190lbs. We are also both very physical as you may have seen in our recent games. He likes to take the body and so do I. I believe we are both very good skaters as we could turn on a dime and we also could puck handle really well. I myself feel that I am over aggressive at times I shouldn’t be and I am aware that Rasmus has this problem to go along with too. Regarding my time with the Reapers, I love it here. Everyone is excited to help me get better. You learn quik what you have to do to be successful in this league, and they taught me that. I love it.” Championships has had a rocky point start to his rookie season with only netting one assist and zero goals in thirteen games. The sky is the limit for this kid. He just have to work to get there.
  2. Owen May was born in 1996 in Buffalo NY. His parents were both second generation immigrants. His father's family form Switzerland and his mother from Germany. He credits his love for hockey to his parents who would constantly take him to hockey games when he was young. Unfortunately, his family was too poor to afford hockey equipment and hockey leagues.At a young age he was more fond of soccer than other sports and found early success in the U.S. He started as a striker but his exceptional hand-eye lead to his club coach moving him to goalkeeper. In 2005, a former player from the Swiss international team, who was currently working for the Rochester Rhinos, scouted the young goalkeeper. He was quickly signed by the Junior Club of the Rochester Rhinos and spent the year travelling and improving his game. At the end of the season the same man who had scouted him for the Rhinos gave his name to a Swiss side, FC Basel. In 2006, he was offered a contract for the FC Basil Youth club. May moved across seas to follow his dreams. At the age of 10, May struggled to adjust to his new life and after one year he was being threatened to move back to the United States. May however confided in another player from Italy. Anthony Montleone and May found a new side of life together as they quickly earned spots on the first team as a Centerback/Goalkeepeer Combo. After their first full year together, Montleone was appointed Captain and May Assistant Captain. 2 years would pass under the appointed captains, Basel would find success winning the league both years. However, at the end of the season Montleone was sold to an Italian side. With his Captain and best friend gone, May once again struggled in net. He lost his job and was once again on the chopping block. In what would be his final game, May was run into by an opponent as he was sliding. The harsh collision left the young starlet with a broken femur. With May's injury and regression the club allowed his contract to run out and left the young man unemployed. Luckily, May's parents had saved his money earned from the club and aided their son in earning his Swiss Citizenship. Content with the new life he had been given May had chose to stay in Switzerland in secret hope of earning another contract. In an interview with a local soccer insider May was very optimistic of his return to pro soccer. "I believe in my abilities. I've proven that I can contend in the harsh environment. I think a bone break will be easier to comeback from than an ACL tear. I've taken this time to learn the language and [I Am] becoming more comfortable with the Swiss lifestyle. My hope is to be back on the pitch come next year." During his recovery period May returned to school deep in the Alps and as well to the hockey arena. His highschool, HIF Engadine, was a hockey power house. In the past 10 years the school had won 3 national titles and had made the title game 5 times. During his recovery period May frequented the schools ice rink and watched many of his classmates play. May quickly became absorbed in the squad becoming a student announcer. After he fully recovered May decided to join his highschool's hockey team. Without a back up the school was strong armed into letting May join the squad. He would spend one year on the bench learning from the team's goalie coach, Henrik Dolgberg. Dolgberg found May an interesting prospect despite only appearing in 4 games. May credits his pro career to Dolgberg. In a recent interview, May was quoted praising his former coach " To be honest, I was frustrated that I hadn't heard anything from soccer clubs. I was ready to move back the States, and joined the hockey team on a whim. Thanks to Coach, I gained some confidence and we spent all year improving my game. I had this new dream thanks to this man and a pair of his old pads and skates." His senior year, May spent all off-season training. Where May lacked in game IQ and technique he made up with his good hand-eye and reflexes. He caught the eyes of the Swiss national team posting a .945 save percentage and helping his team to the first round of the country playoffs. During his time he met his future wife and Swiss national team swimmer, Courtney Cloutier. The high school sweethearts met at a charity event and as both have previously stated, were in love ever since. The two plan on welcoming their first born in November. Despite being rated highly, May's injury history resulted in him receiving no offers to join the Swiss Hockey league the following season. May once again had to pack his bags, this time moving to the Czech Republic. May signed a 1 year contract with HC Pardubice. There he was taken under the wing of former great Dominik Hašek. He was quickly touted to be the next "Dominator". Under the former great May began to gain better technique and learned the game. His first season saw him make 34 appearances as the team's backup posting a .923 save percentage. HC Pardubice made the playoffs and found themselves in trouble. Their starting goaltender suffered a concussion as a result of collision. May would appear in just Game 7 of the first round. Pardubice would lose the game to the eventual champions 1-0 in 2OT with May making 34 saves in relief. An modest start to his pro career resulted in May resigning with Pardubice for one more year. May was given the starting job where he recorded a .940 save percentage on his way to earning the award for best goaltender in the league. When asked about his protege Hašek had this to say. " He reminds me of myself quite a bit. There will be no books written about his stellar technique but he keeps the puck out of the net. As a goalie that's all you need to do." After two seasons with the Czech side, at the age of 21 the Swiss league came calling. With great appreciation, May signed a 2 year deal with SC Bern. As May returned to Switzerland, he proposed to his now wife, and was ready to tackle a new dream. With SC Bern, May recorded a .935 save percentage in 59 appearances. Bern would make it to the second round of the playoffs before getting bounced by the RSC Lions. May's playoff save percentage of .927 earned him a spot on the Switzerland World Junior's roster. May made no appearances for his side. During the summer May returned to the Czech Republic to work with Dominik Hašek. He currently is poised to be drafted in S66 Draft this Sunday. He has chosen to keep his Swiss Citizenship in hopes to make it to the world cup sooner to showcase his abilities. However, May hasn't ruled out the possibility of returning to the United States. "I'm really grateful for the Swiss people and the opportunities that they have given me. I obviously, love my birth country and wish to play for them but I feel that I have a duty to repay the European people"
  3. The Humble Origins of a Great Name: John Perdue Position: Left Wing Born: Buffalo, New York Age: 20 Years Old Height: 6’0” Weight: 175 lbs Shoots: Left On the Pond Born during the harsh winter of Buffalo, New York, John Perdue became acquainted with the ice quicker than most kids. This created a relationship to the sport of hockey for John. One of the first things John saved up for was a pair of decent hockey skates so that he could play at the local pond with the other kids. By the time he was 5, he was skating every weekend at the Lackawanna pond just outside of Buffalo with a group of kids that he considered to be his ‘team.’ John always cared more about being a team player than being a solo star. John and his pond hockey team started practicing plays, train each other, and focused more on the practical aspect of the game. This benefitted John as he took the sport of hockey seriously at such an early age. At age 8, Perdue, a self-taught athlete, decided to look into junior hockey leagues he could possibly be a part of to begin properly learning the sport, which made his parents realize that hockey was more than just a hobby to John. Rink Life It was his career in junior hockey leagues where John got the nickname of “Johnny Hockey.” His coach immediately noticed John’s passion for the game during his first season with the Buffalo Junior Blades. He taught John not only how to play a conscious left-wing role in all contexts, but he also advised him how to be a prevalent leader in the locker room. Back in his time, his coach was a Defenseman for the Toronto Legion, which intrigued John greatly. It was Perdue’s idea to bring the team to a Legion game as a team bonding trip, where that would be his first exposure to the VHL. When John saw Evan Lawson take to the ice, he knew what kind of player he wanted to be. He was blown away by the sheer athleticism and exciting atmosphere of the game, he knew he had to be a part of this league. Some way, somehow. On Stage John began to also show interest in music at age 10 - the drums, more specifically. John felt like he needed other interests to separate himself from the pressures of school and hockey, so he took on the drums and began teaching himself songs that he had downloaded on his MP3 player. His father was an avid guitarist and was very encouraging of his drumming because he knew talent when he saw it. “If John was not looking to be a VHL player, he’d be a drummer,” said his father. “I am so proud of him and what he’s accomplished in both aspects, hockey and music.” John, a natural team player, wanted to find a band to play for during his offseason downtime. With his musical influences drawing from alternative rock, he formed the punk rock band “Previous Love” with friends from school, where they tour together around North America every summer when John isn’t playing hockey. Teenage Years John continued moving up age divisions within the Junior Blades organization throughout middle school and high school. Perdue’s middle school and high school were relatively large, where he hung around with his teammates and other kids that were hockey fanatics. John was a conscientious worker when it came to school, he knew hockey scouts would look at his grades so he always took it seriously and made it apparent to his teachers that he had big plans after he graduated. Every Friday, it was tradition for students that played for the Junior Blades to wear hockey jerseys to show team spirit - sometimes they had to wear team jerseys to show they had a game that night, otherwise they could wear any jersey they wanted. John saw those Fridays as opportunities to wear his Toronto Legion jersey and support his favorite player, none other than Evan Lawson. John faced a difficult decision during his freshman year of high school by his hockey coach, parents and school principal. They both advised he worked towards early graduation in order to begin his hockey career as soon as possible. John thought it would be a good idea, but socially he was worried that his teammates would be upset with him. Much to his disbelief, they showed nothing but support for him. They agreed that he had something special and he shouldn’t waste any time working towards what will eventually be his career. So, John began taking night classes and attended summer school in order to graduate two years early at the age of 16. This meant that he began taking offers from prospects and considering possible teams to play for at a developmental level. His mom advised him to consider more than just North American teams, as she was encouraging him to play somewhere abroad for some experience with other cultures. His mom was so happy to see that he had an opportunity to see the world with his career, and she wanted only the best for him. John understood that his mother knew best, so he decided to take a convincing offer from the Hamburg Ice Freezers, which was a team in the DEL, an elite league from Germany, where he had the benefits of housing and a full-ride scholarship to attend the joint-university with the hockey club. It was difficult to leave his family and friends behind, but he knew it was the best choice for him to become a VHL’er. Life as a Freezer Perdue began playing as a defensive left winger for the Hamburg Ice Freezers and immediately found his place with the teams. There was a bit of a language barrier, but after a few nights out on the town, John began to become very accustomed to the culture of Germany and formed some amazing bonds with his squad. He spent three years with the organization and accrued seventy nine goals, ninety seven assists, (one hundred seventy six total points) and a career plus/minus of +Sixty. He was even able to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Psychology from the joint-university! These numbers were nothing for John to scoff at, as they were right on track with his progress from the Junior Blades. The Ice Freezers made two playoff appearances while Perdue was on the team, but were never able to advance past the quarterfinals. However, John never measured his success by counting his trophies. He benefited greatly from his experiences in the league and he couldn’t have been more thankful for his time in the Hamburg organization. As his third and final season with the Ice Freezers came to a close, Perdue began to seriously consider offers from VHLM teams around the league. He was so excited about the possibility to come back to North America and he wanted to make sure he made the right impressions with the right teams before the VHLM Dispersal Draft. A Wild Draft In a Germany airport, John was on his laptop ready to book any flight back to North America to join whichever team drafted him at the 65th VHLM Dispersal Draft. Eventually, John was selected 37th overall by the Saskatoon Wild, a team that can guarantee him a bright future and healthy development into a player for the VHL. He called his family, friends, band, teammates, and hockey coach to tell them the news and they all said the same thing: “We knew you would make it!” John hopped on the first train to Saskatoon and by the next morning, he joined his new teammates for an open skate and was already acting as a morale boost in the locker room with his positive outlook and attitude. With the 65th season approaching, John is preparing with his team to take over this league and go up against anyone standing in their way.
  4. Name: Eric Parker Age: 17 DOB: January 25th, 2001 Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 195lbs Handedness: Right Hometown: Raleigh, NC, USA Early Years Eric Parker was born on January 25th, 2001 to Charlie and Wilma Parker in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has one older sister and spent the beginning few years in this area. Both of his parents were hard working blue collar individuals who made sure they were always able to provide for their two children and help them accomplish their dreams. Eric spent the first few years of his life in Raleigh until his father’s job brought him and his family to Roanoke, Virginia a smaller city in the middle of Virginia. This new are of the country had its closest professional hockey team 3 hours away. At an early age Parker was a multi-sport athlete playing every kind of sport as long as it allowed him to be competitive. He played football, baseball, soccer, basketball, and even wrestled when he was younger. Eventually each sport would lose its appeal because it never fully intrigued him. He loved the competitive nature but never felt fully attached to each sport that he played. Finally, one day he saw a billboard in his city for the youth hockey league and knew he had to try it out. He begged his parents to buy him some equipment and let him try out for the team. His parents were reluctant because of his tendency to pick up and drop a sport on a whim, but once they saw him out there on the ice something felt different. Not only was there a passion for the sport that Parker had never shown before, but also, he was naturally gifted at many of the aspects of the sport. Early Teenage Years As Parker began to get older he also began to get better at the sport. Hockey is not very popular in this part of the country so there were no competitive school teams that he could play for. There were only club teams where each city would have barely enough skaters to fill out a team and often players had to rotate between positions. Cities would play each other with their skeleton crew rosters and most of the athletes were barely even able to skate. Except for Eric Parker. He had a natural giftedness for the sport that was obvious to everyone who saw him play. Other teams were specifically making their game plan around him so that they could limit his ability to make plays, but that still didn’t stop him. This helped Parker start to gain notoriety around the regional hockey market. He was still having a hard time breaking into the national and international market but his popularity was growing. That is until his father lost his job. His father was a local business owner and his mother was an elementary school teacher. His father’s business folded leaving his father unexpectedly unemployed with his mother being the sole household income provider. Because of this unexpected change in income the family was forced to cut out no essential spending to help out and everyone was expected to do this. Eric’s sister was forced to stop dancing a passion she had for a while. Eric’s mother had to sell her keyboard and other instruments that she loved playing to help out. Sadly, Eric had to stop playing hockey because of the cost it put on his family to travel and pay the other expenses. During this time Eric frantically worked any odd job he could find. He mowed lawns, helped people move, dog sat, and even did some labor work for people who would pay him. These actions sparked something in Eric. He realized that he cared so much about hockey that he was willing to do whatever it took to be able to play again. His parents noticed this as well. Eric’s father was still looking for a job when Eric’s old coach came to see him. The team had done awful this past season without Parker and the coach was willing to do whatever he could to see that Eric was able to play again. Eric’s father wasn’t one to take handouts and the coach knew that so he had another idea. He offered Eric’s father a job. The coach’s passion was for hockey and in order to be able to travel with the team he had his own business chain where he was his own boss. The coach was about to open up another location and needed someone to run it. Eric’s father accepted the offer and Eric was able to go back to playing the next season. Late Teenage Years With everything being fixed financially Eric Parker was able to start playing hockey again. The buzz of Parker coming back led to his popularity rising again. He got back on the ice and was a natural again. He was able to rack up the points and show his flashy ability of play while leading his team to tournament win after tournament win. This helped his begin to gain notice by the right people. Certain scouts from the CHL, colleges, and other programs reached out to him. This led to Parker having to make a decision about where he was going to play next. After consulting his parents and coach Parker decided to go into the United States Hockey Development Program. Although this was a controversial decision everyone was supportive of it. Parker made it to the development program and this new culture hit him like a brick wall. He was no longer obviously the best player on the ice. He was already a dedicated player who was always looking to get better, but now it was obvious that he was going to have to work even harder. He was no longer given the ice time just because he was overly talented, but he was excited about that. Now he knew that if he was logging major ice time it was because he earned it. He made a name for himself although he did have some growing pains because of the new level of talent. VHLM Eric Parker was drafted in the 4th round of the VHLM draft by the Las Vegas Aces and is looking forward to how he can make an impact immediately for his team. Definitely keep a close eye on him as he will soon be one of the best offensive defensemen in the VHLM and soon the VHL.
  5. Lukas Nykvist DOB: March 4 (18 Years Old) Hometown: Ornskoldsvik, Sweden Jersey Number: 21 ​5’11” 182lbs Grade: A- Potential: 8.5/10 Childhood: Lukas grew up playing on the pond in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden with his friends from around the neighbourhood. Bjorn and Adela, his parents, put him in skates at the young age of four. He used dad’s equipment to start, which was far too big, but he managed to put it to good use. He was always slightly more impressive than his friends and showed a glimmer in his eye every time he stepped on that frozen lake. His dad would light fires in the snowbank on the edge of the lake so that Lukas could stay out late to practice skating and shooting the puck. Considering the small size of the town and the quantity of the terrific professional hockey players to come out of the area, Nykvist had the opportunity to learn from some of the best Swedish players to be in the game. He would use small tips and tricks and work on his specific offensive skill set to be a proven scorer one day. At his young age, all of this early determination would prove to pay off in the short future. (Nykvist in the middle) Junior: In high school Nykvist jumped levels in hockey fast as he stuck out like a sore thumb. He played one year with Örnsköldsviks SK with 7 goals and 6 assists (13 points) in 14 games played. He accomplished this at 14 years old. When he turned 15, Nykvist joined the MODO junior under 20 squad where he put up an astonishing 43 goals and 35 assists (78 points) in only 33 games played. He went on to win his first competitive championship that year. And upon turning 16 he debuted the team MODO in the Swedish Hockey League. Along with joining MODO in the SHL he would return to the MODO junior squad to win back to back championships with his home town friends that he grew up on the ice with (as seen below.) This is when he really started to take flight. His statistics were at the upper portion of the SHL for three years with a total of 138 points in 112 games played. Keep in mind that he was 16 to 18 years old, playing in a league among men. SEASON TEAM GP G A PTS +/- 2011-12 MODO 32 24 13 37 +11 2012-13 MODO 39 30 21 51 +19 2013-14 MODO 41 36 24 60 +29 (Nykvist top row on the right) Upsides: Shooting: Lukas has a shot like no other. He has quick release and a velocity that can make you lose the puck in mid-sight. Goalies tremble in fear when the see him coming down bearing down the ice waiting to snap off his shot. Some scouts describe it as similar to Joe Sackic’s shot but instead with velocity of a slap shot. You have to see it to believe it. It is unnatural. Leadership: The leadership and maturity that this young man shows is remarkable. He is cool and calm in pressure situations, always giving his team the role model they need. He is an 18 years old going on 30. He knows how to pump his team up and keep them going at the right times. On the ice he shows the passion of a leader and has fantastic discipline. He reminds scouts of a late Nicklas Lidstrom. He will pipe up in the dressing room every game at the intermission, and he will constantly talk on the bench to his teammates and coaches to help everyone work together and be as successful as possible. Skating: Nykvist can skate fast. He can skate very, very fast. He skates smoothly around the ice and walks around almost every teams defence that he comes by. Turns tight corners fast and easy and can go from defence to offence in the blink of an eye and if he picks up a turnover chances are he is on a breakaway. He can get by quick along the boards and has an uncanny top-end speed down the middle of the ice. Serious consequences happen if the opponent can’t find a way to detain this skating and scoring machine. Downsides: Defence: The defensive ability is somewhat disappointing. He has much room to grow on this skill set. He lacks determination on the back-check and he sometimes convincingly turns the puck over when exiting the defensive zone. He is positionally sound in his own end but he makes some quick poor decisions following the puck instead of the player and attempting poke checks. He continues to learn in this area and adding this to his into his bag of tricks would make him one of the best overall two-way players. Passing: Nyquist is a greedy scoring player. It is not so much the passing itself, but the timing of the passing and actually dishing the biscuit away for an assist once in a while. He needs to learn to be a more opportunistic player with the puck and rely on both shooting and passing in the zone. When he has an opportunity to shoot the puck, he will. The majority of the time when a pass is better than a shot he will be more focused on putting the puck on the net. This also would be a genuine skill to appreciate and learn to do more as he advances into higher calibre leagues. Strength: Strength is something a player can build easily but Nykvist has never needed it until now. He has played in a faster paced and lesser hitting league in Sweden but many are afraid of that when he steps up to the big plate in the VHL he will not be able to hold his own. He has the speed to get around players and move with the pace of the game easily but when it comes to grinding in the corners he may get pushed around like a pit-bull playing with a shitzu. He will need to train hard in the off-seasons and add muscle to his 180 pound frame. Conclusion: Lukas Nykvist has offensive talent never before seen since the Great One. He has upsides that every team desires and has the potential to become a superstar. He will need to work on a few things along the way to ensure that he becomes that complete player in the VHL. He is determined and gifted and he has no doubt in his mind that he will be on our televisions for the long run and retire as a champion in the VHL.
  6. Andrej Hasek Birthdate: November 30,1991 Birthplace: Prague, Czech Republic Position: Goaltender Height: 6’3 Weight: 190lbs Early Life Andrej Hasek was born to Tomas and Eva Hasek in the city of Prague. The Hasek name may sound familiar because Andrej is the nephew of former NHL great Domink Hasek. Legend has it Andrej was quite the baseball player growing up, even being recruited to come over to North America, however Andrej denies that claim to this day. Andrej’s start in ice hockey is not your traditional story, he started at a relatively old age. Andrej was 13 when first laced up a pair of skates, an old pair of goalie skates his uncle gave him. He was always curious about the sport but it wasn’t until his uncle took him out to a local pond that he fell in love. Playing Career Andrej picked up the game quickly and before he knew it he had shot up the junior rankings in his native Czech Republic. He was destined to follow in the footsteps of his uncle until a sport hernia sidelined him for a full season during his junior year in high school. It was a tough year for Andrej and he found himself straying away from the game of hockey. His grades and attendance in school declined and he was getting into trouble outside of school. He got mixed up in the wrong crowd and ended up spending some time in a juvenile detention center. After a summer visit from his uncle, Andrej found the motivation that he had been missing and trained to get ready for his senior year. He returned in his senior year but it was a disappointment, many questioned whether Andrej’s heart was still in hockey. Andrej made a statement when he opted to play professional hockey rather than continue onto college, he was going to live out his dream of being a hockey player. Andrej joined HC Pradubice but it was meet with controversy, the word around town was that Andrej had not earned his spot rather he was given the roster spot based on the name on his sweater. Andrej worked hard to prove his doubters wrong and posted a 8-3-0 record in his rookie season with a 2.35 gaa and .921 sv %. The following season saw Andrej steal the starting role and lead the club to a championship, winning MVP honours. Andrej found himself in the spotlight, he wasnt accustomed to dealing with it outside the rink, which again lead to trouble. He spent much of his summer partying and enjoying the spotlight and wasn’t repaired for the season. At the start of his third season with HC Pardubice rumours were swirling, it was believed that Andrej was planning on leaving the club at the end of the season. The rumours combined with a poor season and injuries, lead to him being ran out of town. Weeks before the season had finished Andrej was released from the club and he made it official that he would look to continue his career in the VHL. Player Review Pros Athleticism: Similar to his uncle Dominik, Andrej is an incredible athlete. He sprawls around his crease, kicking up legs and throwing out arms in an effort to keep the puck out of his net. When you think he is completely out of it, he manages to get a limb in front of the puck. Hand Speed: Unlike most European goaltenders, Andrej has an incredible glove had. Previous coaches have joked that in the past he must have been quite the catcher playing baseball, but Andrej maintains he as never picked up a baseball. His blocker hand is quite underrated, many look to shoot there because of his good glove hand but they often are denied. Whether or not his hand speed will translate to the VHL is yet to be determined Work Ethic: Andrej is a very determined individual. Where some may lack in terms of commitment off the ice, Andrej certainly does not. He has received praise from past teammates and coaches for the time he has spent working on his came outside of the rink. He spends countless hours in training room, talking to coaches and even media, all an attempt to become a better player and teammate. Cons Style: While his style is extremely entertaining and may leave some spectators with their jaw on the floor, it often leads to him being caught out of position. For a goalie coach he is a nightmare, he has no sense of positioning. Andrej has got by at lower levels but moving to the VHL it will be an area needing improvement. Durability: Andrej’s injury history is well documented back to his days in high school. He has yet to complete a season without enduring an injury along the way, the most notable being a sports hernia. For a goaltender who relies on athleticism, as much as Andrej does, the numerous groin injuries is not a good sign. It maybe too soon to label him a band aid boy but it will a cause of concern for which ever team Andrej suits up for. Experience: Andrej lacks experience, not only as a starter but just as a hockey player. He started at an older age than most and that is very evident in his play. He doesn’t have all the fundamentals down and gets by purely on athleticism. Teams will have to be patient with the young goaltender, there will be growing pains along the way.