Friday, 20 July 2012

Slovakia roster for Ivan Hlinka Memorial announced

Slovakia really struggled at last years Ivan Hlinka
Memorial, finishing the tournament in 8th place.
Photo: Erik Ďuriš
Friday morning saw the roster for Slovakia's team at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament confirmed, with no real surprises. The tournament, which is seen as the start of the scouting season for the 2013 NHL Draft will feature the best 1995 and 1996 born players in the world, who will look to stake their claim for a high draft spot next June.

The tournament, which takes place between the 13th and the 18th of August in Piešťany and Břeclav never fails to disappointment, and often reveals some diamonds in the rough, especially from the lesser hockey nations.

Anton Bartánus will coach the team, while the roster is as follows:

Denis Godla (Birth year: 1995/Club: HK Spišská Nová Ves, Slovakia),
Juraj Halo (1995/HC Topoľčany, Slovakia), 
Marek Mikoláš (1995/MsHK Žilina, Slovakia),

Patrik Bačik (1995/HC Slovan Bratislava, Slovakia), 
Martin Boboš (1995/HC Košice, Slovakia), 
Dávid Gál (1995/HC Nitra, Slovakia), 
Matúš Holenda (1995/Dukla Trenčín, Slovakia), 
Adam Kasanický (1995/Luleå HF, Sweden), 
Peter Kuzma (1995/Dukla Trenčín, Slovakia), 
Martin Pavlíček (1995/HC Nitra, Slovakia), 
Adrián Sloboda (1996/HK 36 Skalica, Slovakia), 
Michal Solár (1995/MsHK Žilina, Slovakia),
On reserve list: 
Mário Ramaj (1995/HC ´05 Banská Bystrica, Slovakia), 
Stanislav Tomko (1995/P.H.K. Prešov, Slovakia)

Martin Blaho (1995/Slovan Bratislava, Slovakia), 
Peter Cehlárik (1995/Luleå HF, Sweden), 
Kristián Horvát (1995/ P.H.K. Prešov, Slovakia), 
Patrik Koyš (1995/Dukla Trenčín, Slovakia), 
Róbert Lantoši (1995/MsHK Žilina, Slovakia), 
Andrej Lištiak (1995/MHk Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovakia), 
Matej Paulovič (1995/BK Färjestad, Sweden), 
Martin Pleša (1995/HK 36 Skalica, Slovakia), 
Dominik Rehák (1995/MsHK Žilina, Slovakia), 
Martin Reway (1995/Gatineau Olympiques, QMJHL, Canada),
Timotej Šille (1995/HK 36 Skalica, Slovakia),
Juraj Šiška (1996/HC Nitra, Slovakia),

Dávid Šoltés (1995/HC Košice, Slovakia), 
Juraj Talán (1995/PSG Zlín, Czech Republic),
Tomáš Török (1995/Sherbrooke Phoenix, QMJHL, Canada),
Róbert Varga (1995/HK Trnava, Slovakia),

On reserve list:
Šimon Beták (1995/HC Olomouc, Czech Republic),
Samuel Petráš (1995/HC Slovan Bratislava),

From this roster, it is clear that the biggest strength is the crop of young forwards. Both Réway and Török are heading to the QMJHL next season, and it is no surprise as they represent two of the top young players coming out of Slovakia. Török had a poor season, punctuated by injuries on his return to Slovakia after a very promising season with Slavia Praha in the Czech Republic in 2010-11, whilst Réway went in the opposite direction, shining in the very competitive Czech junior leagues for Sparta Praha. Also present at the Ivan Hlinka will be Patrik Koyš. After his first few seasons in the Slovakian junior program, Koyš was touted to become the next best thing out of Slovakia, but he has yet to meet the hype. He was overshadowed at the IIHF Division 1 Under 18 World Championships, being shunted on the lower lines as the team favoured the likes of Réway and also Marko Daňo. However, he is still two years away from being drafted, and will be looking to have a dominant in the U20 Extraliga. Another with a point to prove will be big bodied forward Matej Paulovič. Paulovič, who moved to Sweden last season did well, earning a call up to the SuperElit, but struggled in international play for Slovakia. 

It should be an interesting tournament to gauge just to what level the next crop of Slovakian youngsters are at. However once again, it appears that there are 1-2 very good players, but as always, the depth simply isn't there.

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