On Friday, the Czech Ice Hockey Association announced its final roster for this year's IIHF U20 World Championship, which will take place December 26 to January 5 in Buffalo, NY.
The roster includes five returning players from the team that finished seventh at last year's tournament: goaltender Filip Novotný, defencemen Jakub Jeřábek and Oldřich Horák and forwards Andrej Nestrašil and Michal Hlinka. It also includes four NHL draft picks, all forwards: Nestrašil (Detroit), Petr Straka (Columbus), Jakub Culek (Ottawa), and Roman Horák (NY Rangers).
But this list of players may be more notable for who isn't on it. Goaltender Petr Mrázek and defenceman Adam Polášek were expected to be their top players at those positions, but a prostest by HC Vítkovice Steel over their 2009 departures to Canada is keeping them off. As well, top 17-year-old draft prospects David Musil on defence and Dmitrij Jaškin up front will miss the tournament with injuries.
For an in-depth look at the roster and how they may fare at the upcoming World Junior Championship, check out my preview at hockeysfuture.com.
The Czech Republic plays in a group with Canada, Sweden, Russia, and Norway. From that, the top team will advance to the semi-finals and the second and third teams will play cross-over quarter-finals. Here is the Czech team's group schedule, with times (Eastern and Central European) and TV availability:
Mon, Dec 27 19:00 ET, 01:00 CET vs Norway
Tue, Dec 28 16:00 ET, 22:00 CET vs Canada, ČT4 Sport, TSN, RDS, NHL Network, Eurosport, NTV+
Thu, Dec 30 15:00 ET, 21:00 CET vs Sweden, ČT4 Sport, TSN, NHL Network, SVT, NTV+
Fri, Dec 31 19:00 ET, 01:00 CET vs Russia, ČT4 Sport, NTV+
From cslh.cz, here is the roster of Team Czech Republic U20:
Tadeáš Galanský (Saginaw, OHL)
Marek Mazanec (Plzeň)
Filip Novotný (Sparta Praha)
Oldřich Horák (Hradec Králové)
Bohumil Jank (Č. Budějovice).
Jakub Jeřábek (Plzeň)
Martin Pláněk (Znojmo)
Dalibor Řezníček (Zlín)
Adam Sedlák (Ottawa, OHL)
Petr Šenkeřík (H. Brod)
Jakub Culek (Rimouski, QMJHL)
Martin Frk (Halifax, QMJHL)
Michal Hlinka (Vítkovice)
Petr Holík (Zlín)
Antonín Honejsek (Moose Jaw, WHL)
Roman Horák (Chilliwack, WHL)
Andrej Nestrašil (P.E.I., QMJHL)
Jakub Orsava (Třinec)
Ondřej Palát (Drummondville, QMJHL)
Tomáš Rachůnek (Znojmo)
Robin Soudek (Chilliwack, WHL)
Petr Straka (Rimouski, QMJHL)
David Tůma (Sparta Praha)