Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Defenceman Musil questionable for WJC

The news just keeps getting worse for the Czech national U20 team.

Since naming their 28-man camp roster last week, two of their best players have been declared ineligible by the Czech Ice Hockey Association and now two of their top prospects for next years draft have gone down with injuries.

Dmitrij Jaškin, a 17-year-old right winger for HC Slavia Praha, injured his knee on November 21 and is not expected to return to action until some time in January.

David Musil of the Vancouver Giants.
Photo courtesy
Then on December 7, defenceman David Musil of the Vancouver Giants suffered a hairline fracture in his right leg when he blocked a shot while killing a penalty in a WHL game against the Kamloops Blazers. His status was originally stated rather vaguely as "week to week", and now it is no more clear whether or not he will be ready to play when the Czechs open the World Junior Championships on December 27 against Norway.

“I'm going to go on the ice (today) to see if I can skate or not,” Musil told Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun on Monday. “I feel every day it's getting a bit better and I can kind of walk on it right now, so that's pretty good. I was only on crutches the first day. So I'm going to go to the camp in Detroit (on Wednesday) and stay there for three days. They said if I can skate, they'll keep me there. If not, they'll probably send me home.”

Like Jaškin, Musil will be eligible for the NHL Entry Draft for the first time in 2011, and has been mentioned as a potential first rounder. He was born in Calgary, AB while his father, defenceman František Musil, was a member of the Flames. He carries both Canadian and Czech citizenship.

For a Czech team with concerns about depth, the loss of Musil from their blueline would be the latest of many blows they have received recently. In addition to Jaškin's injury, they will also be without the services of goaltender Petr Mrázek and defenceman Adam Polášek. Both of these players are being blocked from joining the national junior team by HC Vítkovice Steel, the Czech club that claims their playing rights, due to their unauthorized departures to Canada in 2009.

The World Junior Championships run from December 26 to January 5 in Buffalo, NY. The Czech Republic plays in a group that includes Canada, Sweden, Russia, and Norway.

On Wednesday, 15 players based in Europe will fly from Prague to Detroit, where they will meet up with 13 North American-based players, including Musil. The 23-man tournament roster will be named on December 23.

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