Photo credit:Rob Wilton/Vancouver Giants
Calgary Flames prospect Samuel Honzek named an alternate captain for Slovakia’s World Junior team
By Ryan Pike2 months ago
The final rosters aren’t quite locked in yet, but it appears that Calgary Flames prospect Samuel Honzek has made Slovakia’s World Junior squad. The main indication of that was the announcement on Thursday that Honzek will serve as an alternate captain for that team. (Adam Sykora was named captain, Filip Mesar is the other alternate).
Honzek was the Flames’ first-round selection, 16th overall, at June’s 2023 NHL Draft – the very first selection made by Craig Conroy as general manager. Honzek signed his entry-level deal with the Flames in July and was featured prominently throughout training camp and the pre-season schedule, but he was injured in an exhibition game against Edmonton and didn’t play his first game of the season until Dec. 1. He put up seven points in five WHL games for Vancouver prior to departing for the World Juniors.
Over at The Hockey News, prospect analyst Tony Ferrari described Honzek as “a big forward who protects the puck at an elite level and plays a bit of a dual-threat game.” Our pal Steven Ellis at Daily Faceoff also emphasized how important Honzek will be for Slovakia’s tournament success.
Slovakia’s seen as an up-and-coming power in the hockey world these days, something made evident by so many prominent Slovak players being selected in the first round of recent NHL Drafts. But their nation is still a bit lean depth-wise, which has resulted in Honzek getting a ton of international experience already. This will be his third World Juniors appearance, and he’s also represented them at the Division-1A Under-18 Worlds and the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, where he won silver.
There’s a perception out there that Slovakia is approaching a critical mass of young talent and could take a big step at the junior level, in much the same way we saw them capture bronze at the 2022 Winter Olympics. If they’re going to take a step at the World Juniors, Honzek will need to be one of the players leading the way.
Stay tuned to FlamesNation for coverage of Slovakia’s performances at the World Juniors.
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