Jump to content

Interview with Ondrej Ohradka and Gunnar-Rune Rorvik


Recommended Posts


"After the Game" Interview with Ondrej Ohradka and Gunnar-Rune Rorvik


Image result for after hours scott oake


Welcome back to VHLM Night in Canada! I'm your host, Scot Hoax. In just a moment we'll begin our "After the Game" post game show where we bring in the faces of the VHLM and talk to them about their paths, ambitions, and allow fans to ask questions as well via social media.


Tonight we are in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where we are going to chat with a new face on the Saskatoon Wild and his agent, a former Triple-Crown winner in the league. We now welcome newly-acquired Wild winger, Ondrej Ohradka, and his agent, former Seattle Bear defenseman, Gunnar-Rune Rorvik. Hello, gentlemen, and thank you for joining us tonight on "After the Game".


OO: Thank you for inviting us.


GR: Thanks, Scot. We are glad to be here.


SH: So, Ondrej, let's start with you. You finish your second season with Dukla Trencin, your home team back in Slovakia, you are selected late in the VHLM draft in the 7th round by the Minnesota Storm, you come to North America and play for the Storm. After 12 games, you are then traded to the Saskatoon Wild. Fair to say, it's been a whirlwind ride for you the last few weeks, hasn't it?


OO: For sure. Getting drafted was a dream come true and it wouldn't have happened without Gunnar-Rune's help. It was great playing for Minnesota. They are a top-notch team and it was fun to play with them and learn from some great players. The trade came as a surprise but I think everything happens for a reason and I’ve embraced this opportunity with a new team. It helped that I had a friendly face come with me in (teammate) Myles Angellus. That being said, I'm having a blast with the Wild! We're a fun and loose team and I think we'll surprise people.


SH: You guys sure seem to have fun together. Also, you are getting a lot more ice time here than you were with Minnesota. How much of an adjustment has that been for you?


OO: There has been a little bit of an adjustment, for sure. On the ice, it's great to play more during the game and it helps me get more into the flow of the game as well. Off the ice has been the bigger adjustment because I've had to make sure to listen to my body and get more sleep and relax more to recuperate and get ready for the next game. I really appreciate the coaching staff having faith in me to play me so much.


SH: You are definitely using that ice time to your advantage. You are currently in third place in team points and leading the team in goals with 10. How does it feel to be contributing more offensively?


OO: It's always great to be able to contribute and score some goals. I'm getting more ice time on the power-play and killing penalties which I really take pride in. But I think what's leading me to be able to create more offense is take care of things defensively and using turnovers to create chances and draw penalties.


SH: Now, Gunnar-Rune, you must be extremely proud of the effort Ondrej has put in and how things are working out for him here. As an agent, what is the most rewarding thing about seeing your players succeed?


GR: I've known Ondrej for a while now and we've talked a lot about his dream of playing hockey professionally and the different paths to get there and I am just thrilled that the VHL is working out for him largely because I know what a great experience I had in this league. I know he's put in an amazing amount of work to get here and I'm just happy to be part of the journey with him. It's wonderful just to see good people get rewarded for hard work.


SH: You mentioned that you've known each other for a while now. Let's take it back to when you first met each other and how went from strangers to player and agent. How does a Norwegian ex-player end up with a budding Slovakian star under his tutelage?


GR: Well, we’ve never actually been strangers. You see, I played against Ondrej’s father, Jozef, a few times internationally and we had a couple of mutual friends and met a couple times during the summer so we knew each other when Ondrej was born. After my VHL career, I went back to Norway, played another two seasons, and after retirement I spent time with my family and dabbled in a few business opportunities. I really started to miss the game so I called some of my contacts and inquired about getting into player management. Long story short, I became a player agent and I specialized in finding hidden talents in more little-known markets. As for Ondrej, I had met him once or twice as a kid and knew he played hockey so I followed his progress in Slovakia. He started having a lot of his success so I started going to his games and from the first minute I saw him, I knew he was something special. After talking with Ondrej and his family, they agreed for me to be his agent and the rest is history.


SH: That's a fascinating story! Ondrej, how did you come to the decision to hire Gunnar-Rune as your agent? What impressed you most about him?


OO: Like he said, we had met a few times when I was growing up although I don’t have any clear memories about our meetings. My father always spoke highly of him and he had a fantastic career overseas and internationally - he was always a solid player and a solid citizen. You never hear anything bad about him. So, his character was very important to me and my family and the familiarity was a bonus. When he first approached about the possibility of finding an agent, it was never pushy and he didn’t even offer his services initially, it was more encouraging and showing me that I had what it takes to play at the next level and he dissected my game completely and gave me lots of advice especially defensively. It didn’t take long as I saw his character, knowledge, and wisdom and he kept helping me out with no strings attached that it was an easy decision. It’s been one of the best hockey-related decisions of my career so far.


SH: It definitely seems to be working for you. Gunnar-Rune, as an agent, what about the VHLM made you think that it would be the best next step for Ondrej?


GR: I think what makes the VHLM such an intriguing league for prospects is the community and the focus on development. Everyone from management, coaches, your teammates, even your opponents - everyone is focused on helping each other get better. Of course, it is super competitive and everyone wants to win but that just aids the development process. And they are the most accepting league anywhere. You could be the only hockey player in your country and the league would welcome you with open arms and try to help you succeed. Obviously, I had a great experience in the league as well and it has continued to innovate and improve and produce outstanding hockey players. All of these factors persuaded me to encourage Ondrej to explore the VHLM as a possibility.


OO: It wasn't hard to convince me after all the positive stories Gunnar-Rune told me. I did my own research as well and declared eligible for the draft as soon as I could.


SH: So, Ondrej, here you are now, in the VHLM, in Saskatoon, you recently scored your first hat-trick and had a career night with 4 points. Where do you see yourself going from here?


OO: First, we have to get better as a team and try to make the playoffs. I have to continue to get better to help the Wild achieve this. Then, it's try to win a championship and hopefully get drafted into the VHL. It will be a hard path but exhilarating and worth every minute.


SH: That is such a great attitude! Alright, we have time for a couple of questions from our listeners. The first comes from Twitter user @Peace and he asks, "Who was your favorite player growing up?"


OO: My favorite player when I was young was my dad, Jozef Ohradka! (Laughs) I only was able to watch him play a few times. After my dad is Marian Hossa. I was mesmerized by his moves and scoring when he played the short time in Trencin. I had his jersey and never took it off. And then my sentimental favorite is the late great Pavol Demitra. Everyone in Slovakia loved Pavol Demitra and in my hometown we even named our hockey arena after him. He was a fabulous player.


SH: He was a great player and is greatly missed. The last question is emailed to us from numerouno@berocka.com and he asks, "Ondrej, want is your guilty pleasure? What do you eat when you think no one is looking?" My, this could get incriminating! You could plead the fifth but we're in Canada.


OO: Well, I'm not going to lie, I love good pizza and rich ice cream! But, my latest favorite has been something I just discovered since coming to Canada - Nanaimo bars. Wow! Those are delicious! Hopefully our trainer isn't listening right now.


SH: Nanaimo bars are dangerous. And there is Nanaimo bar ice cream so you may want to check that out.


OO: oh, I definitely will!


SH: We are running out of time here on "After the Game". Ondrej and Gunnar-Rune, I want to thank you very much for coming on the show tonight. Good luck to both of you in your respective careers and I look forward to seeing you around the VHLM.


OO: This was fun, thanks!


GR: Thanks for having us, Scot.


SH: And thank you to all our listeners for tuning in to “After the Game”. On behalf of Ondrej Ohradka, Gunnar-Rune Rorvik, and our production team, this is Scot Hoax wishing you a wonderful night. Good-bye.


*This is my VHL Birthday Doubles week and as it's over 1700 hundred words I will claim for 3 weeks as I'm on vacation.

Edited by animal74
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...