Tipsport Extraliga Preview (part one)

Tipsport Extraliga Preview (part one)

10 Sep 2013 | Kamil Beneš

Only days left until the Czech Republic major hockey league will start. 14 teams will compete for 10 places guaranteeing start in play-offs. Who is top seed of the competition and vice versa which teams are adepts for bottom places of the standings? gives you brief information about every team in the league.


HC Skoda Plzen

The last year champions from Plzen are expecting another successful season despite the team lost some important players. The play offs top scorer Jan Kovar transferred to Metalurg Magnitogorsk and first goalie Marek Mazanec is trying to earn contract with Nashville Predators. In the other hand Plzen got good news in the last several days. 42 years old owner of the club and the Olympic champion Martin Straka will play upcoming season! It will be interesting to watch how last year champions will do well. There is big warning from the past. Many previous Czech champions had failed in the next season.  

Last year standings: Champion (1st place)

Talented young players: Jakub Jerabek, Vojtech Mozik, Jakub Lev, Patrik Peruska, Jan Schleiss

Transfers out: Josef Balej, Nicholas Johnson, Jan Kovar, Marek Mazanec, Nick St. Pierre, Adam Svoboda, Petr Vampola

Transfers in: Radek Duda, Matej Machovsky, Lukas Mensator, Daniel Seman, Jan Sykora, Stepan Novotny

Most important players: Martin Straka, Tomas Vlasak, Jiri Hanzlik, Vaclav Pletka

PSG Zlin

The Czech runner-up Zlin have not changed roster a lot. This club has started to give a chance to young and talented players a couple years ago. Now Zlin has stable roaster with many prospective players. However one of them left. Goalie Jakub Sedlacek was magnificent support of team defense. Sedlacek has wanted to try KLH and singed with Dinamo Riga. The net is now open for experienced Lubos Horcicka and for big talent Libor Kasik, who was first goalie in Olomouc. As well as Plzen, Zlin can rely on legend of the team Petr Cajanek. Zlin would not be missing in the play-offs and would remain one of hot aspirants for championship.

Last year standings: 2nd place

Talented young players: Libor Kasik, Patrik Urbanec, Petr Zámorský, Petr Holik, Antonin Honejsek

Transfers out: Tomas Linhart, Jakub Slahar, Jakub Sedlacek, Martin Hamrlik (end of career)

Transfers in: Libor Kasik, Jiri Marusak, Tomas Sykora, Tomas Valenta

Most important players: Petr Cajanek, Petr Holik, Antotnin Honejsek, Radim Tesarik

HC Slavia Praha

Slavia Praha was for some the biggest surprise of last season. Underestimated team went to play-offs from second place and was beaten by later champions from Plzen.  No matter how famous names have Coach Vladimir Ruzicka in a roaster, every season is Slavia candidate for play-offs. In a spring Slavia lost its treasure. 19 years old national team player Tomas Hertl went to try his luck to San Jose Sharks. Veteran player Jaroslav Bednar came instead. Another looses are in defense lines.

Last year standings: 3rd place

Talented young players: Lukas Chalupa, Ronald Knot, Lukas Stransky, Michal Poletin

Transfers out: Petr Kubos, Miroslav Kopriva, Tomas Hertl, Jan Dlouhy, Jan Alinc, Michal Kempný, Jaroslav Koma, Jiri Kucny

Transfers in: Adam Svoboda, Jaroslav Bednar, David Stich, Juraj Valach

Most important players: Jaroslav Bednar, Petr Kadlec, Vladimir Ruzicka, Dominik Furch

HC Ocelari Trinec

Ambitious team from Silesia is not giving up pursuing their goals. For them, the only meaningful goal is victory. The last year Extraliga´s top scorer Martin Ruzicka has signed a new one year contract with club. Trinec can still remain on his goal scoring skills. Sometimes unpredictable could be actual form of goalies or overall defense activity. The roaster has not changed a lot. The biggest lost would be David Kveton and Tomas Kloucek. In the other hand Tomas Linhart has come with reputation of a reliable defenseman. Moreover, Trinec has several very talented player waiting for their chance.  

Last year standings: 4th place

Talented young players: Marek Ruzicka, Jakub Orsava, Simon Hrubec, Denis Kindl

Transfers out: Zbynek Hampl, David Kveton, Tomas Klimenta, Erik Hrna, Tomas Kloucek, Ctirad Ovcacik, Martin Podesva

Transfers in: Tomas Linhart, David Roupec

Most important players: Radek Bonk, Jiri Polansky, Lukas Zib, Martin Ruzicka, Jan Peterek, Vaclav Varada

HC Sparta Praha

With no doubts could say Sparta Praha wants to win Extraliga and would do everything for that. Club with the highest budget and backup team of KHL tem Lev Praha, does not want to accept another disappointment. The roaster has changed a lot. 12 players left a team 11 came in. Almost all of new players are experienced guys and for example Tomas Rolinek was Capitan of Czech world champions from 2010. The cooperation between new players would take some time but boards and fans will not be patient. They want to became champions right now.   

Last year standings: 5th place

Talented young players: Marek Hrbas, Tomas Rachunek, Daniel Pribyl, Dominik Simon, Filip Novotny

Transfers out: Petr Tenkrat, Jan Hanzlik, Marcel Melichercik, Michal Bros, Sacha Treille, Angel Krstev, Adam Lapšanský, Troy Milam, Marek Pinc, Lukas Zalcik, Jiri Hunkes, Lukas Lunak

Transfers in: Tomas Pöpperle, Karel Kubat, Marek Hrbas, Jan Svrcek, Jan Piskacek, Lukas Klimek, Jan Buchtele, Filip Novotný, Petr Kumstat, Lukas Pech, Tomas Rolinek

Most important players: Jaroslav Hlinka, Vladimir Sicak, Tomas Rolinek, Lukas Pech, Petr Kumstat, Tomas Pöpperle

HC Verva Litvinov

Traditional team has entered into his 55 season in major Czech league without any relegation. Beside Slavia Praha was Litvinov the biggest surprise of last season. Team powered by productive duo Frantisek Lukes and Vikor Hübl was beaten by Plzen. Goalie Pavel Francouz was named the best goalie of the last season and also was nominated to the Czech national team in the World Championship. Litvinov would like to repeat last year success. The biggest obstacle would be defense because two cornerstones of Litvinov´s defense lines Karel Kubat and Jan Brejcak transferred and were replaced by young folks Tomas Pavelka a Filip Pavlik.  

Last year standings: 6th place

Talented young players: Tomas Pavelka, FIlip Pavlik, Juraj Majdan, Petr Kousalik

Transfers out: Karel Kubat, Jan Brejcak, Vladislav Balaz, Martin Frolik, Richard Jares, Marek Posmyk

Transfers in: Petr Chaloupka, Tomas Pavelka, Filip Pavlik

Most important players: Frantisek Lukes, Viktor Hübl, Pavel Francouz, Kamil Piros

Rytiri Kladno

Last season was for Kladno very good. Mainly it was thanks to help of 5 NHL player leaded by legendary player Jaromir Jagr. But Jagr, who is also owner of the club, does not play in Extraliga anymore and Kladno perhaps should change their goals. As well as all teams playing Extraliga, Kladno would like to occupy positions which guarantee play-offs. This year it will be very hard work for Kladno. In current situation is probably the most likely position in play-out.

Last year standings: 7th place

Talented young players: Milan Doudera, Jakub Strnad, Patrik Machac

Transfers out: Jan Piskacek, Jakub Valsky, Koba Jass, Petr Obdrzalek, Petr Macholda, Vladimir Kames, Martin Latal

Transfers in: Petr Tenkrat, Ivan Jankovic, Sacha Treille, Petr Horava

Most important players: Petr Tenkrat, Pavel Patera, Ivan Majesky, Jan Chabera

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