EDMONTON | After a historic year for Slovakian ice hockey, in which two of its prospects were won with the first two picks in the NHL draft, it seems like it’s not over for the Central European country as another high-profile prospect is lining up for next year Draft looming on the horizon.
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Forward Dalibor Dvorsky has been making NHL teams salivate for a while. At last year’s Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, Dvorsky was instrumental in winning his country’s silver medal, finishing second in the competition with 12 points in five games, three more than teammate Juraj Slafkovsky, a year older and winning the overall in the last NHL draft by the Canadians.
It’s not certain that Dvorsky will succeed Slafkovsky as the first overall pick in 2023 – we remind you that this year a certain Connor Bedard is in the running – but Dvorsky seems to be unanimously accepted as the future top 10 pick at the moment.
TO GROW IN SWEDEN
Similar to Slafkovksy, Dvorsky made the decision to leave his native Slovakia to continue his development elsewhere. But he did it much earlier.
From the age of 9 his family made the decision to move to Sweden during the hockey season to give the young hockey player the opportunity to develop further. You then return to
Slovakia during summer season.
Since the 2020/2021 season he has been playing for the AIK program based in Solna near Stockholm. And although he has left his country, he believes that developments in Slovakia have improved a lot in recent years and that the last hope is a perfect example of this.
“The coaches do a great job with the young players. They give them the opportunity to play with the pros and in U20 tournaments. We saw it with Juraj, he had the chance to play in the World Cup and the Olympics. »
Contrary to many, Dvorsky was not surprised that his two compatriots Slafkovsky and defender Simon Nemec were claimed in the top two spots on July 7.
“They have been great all year. I’ve had the chance to talk to them a little recently, but they’re very busy. I hope for them that they will play in the NHL this season. »
Furthermore, Slovakia not only offers him a chance to play at the World Juniors, but also offers him a unique opportunity to assert himself, especially on the power play where he plays on the first wave.
“Coaches have told me to play my style and do what makes me dangerous, which is take shots and create things offensively every time I’m on the ice. »