*Join us across Hamilton Bulldogs social media all week as we celebrate Jan Mysak, culminating with the Jan Mysak Draft Show on Monday October 5th at 2pm! All presented by our partners at FirstOntario Credit Union*
Coming from one of the most legendary hockey cities in the Czech Republic, Litvinov, Jan Mysak has followed in the footsteps of legends from his very earliest days in the game and is on his way to writing his name in Czech hockey history alongside them.
The Litvinov Legend – Ivan Hlinka
Litvinov was originally put on the hockey map by the legendary Ivan Hlinka who spent 18 seasons playing for HC Litvinov where he recorded 671 points in 532 games and following his playing career serve as Head Coach, General Manager and Chairman of the club for an additional 12 seasons. Hlinka would be best known in North America however for his two seasons with the Vancouver Canucks where he starred, scoring 123 points in 137 games and being one of the namesakes for the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup which has provided the stage for many junior stars to have their breakout on the international stage.
The Childhood Favourite – Jiri Slegr
With the stage being set by Hlinka, the next legend in Litvinov hockey history would arrive in the 1985-86 season as defenseman Jiri Slegr would spend two seasons with the U16 side before arriving with the team in the 1987-88 season, becoming the youngest player since Ivan Hlinka to play professionally for Litvinov. Slegr would go onto play parts of 16 seasons for Litvinov with recording 215 points in 398 games while also spending 11 seasons in the NHL scoring 249 points in 622 games with Vancouver, Edmonton, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Detroit & Boston. Slegr would also enter the prestigious Triple Gold Club in his career by winning Olympic Gold in 1998, the Stanley Cup in 2002 & World Hockey Championship in 2005. Much like Ivan Hlinka before him, Slegr would follow his tremendous career by serving as Head Coach, General Manager & Chairman of HC Litvinov between 2014-2020.
The Next Generation – Jan Mysak
Enter Jan Mysak, the tremendously talented 2002-born center has grown up with the stories of Ivan Hlinka and idolized Jiri Slegr as one of his favourite players for his hometown club. Coming through HC Litvinov’s youth program it was clear there was something special about Jan Mysak and the wider hockey world began to see it when he arrived with Litvinov’s U16 team at just 13 years old in the 2015-16 season posting 7 points across 12 games. In the 2016-17 season, as a 14-year old in the U16 level Mysak would post an incredible 57 goals and 32 assists for 89 points in just 37 games and his performances would earn him a call-up to the U18 side where he would post an additional 5 goals and 5 assists for 10 points in just 4 games cementing himself as one of the Czech Republic’s brightest young stars.
Domestic Dominance & International Breakthrough
In the 2017-18 season, Mysak’s destruction of the Czech U16 continued as he would post a ridiculous 41 goals and 18 assists over just 12 games to start the season before being brought up to the U18 side where as a 15-year old he would record another 30 goals and 23 assists for 53 points in 36 games playing against competition up to 3 years older than himself. The performances at the U18 level would earn Mysak a call-up to the U20 where against competition up to 5 years older he would still post 2 goals and 6 assists for 8 points in 6 games.
The 17-18 season would also mark the breakout for Mysak on the world stage, representing the Czech Republic at both the U16 & U17 levels, even serving as an Assistant Captain for the U16 side and recording 13 points in 17 games in international play in total.
History Re-Written in Litvinov
The 2018-19 season would prove to be history making for Mysak as he would open the season at the U19 level, as a 16-year old and again playing against competition up to 3 years older but still record 13 goals and 8 assists for 21 points in just 9 games. With his resume & accomplishments building quickly Mysak’s moment arrived, surpassing both club legends Ivan Hlinka & Jiri Slegr to become the youngest player in the history of HC Litvinov’s professional team. Mysak would see managed minutes at the professional level for the rest of the season, potting 7 points in 31 games and playing for his childhood favourite, Jiri Slegr, who was coaching the team at the time. In a tough season HC Litvinov would have to fight for their place for the following season in the Czech Extraliga, through a Relegation series which would see Jan Mysak surpass former OHLers Lukas Kaspar & Jakub Petruzalek recording 5 goals and 4 assists for 9 points through 6 games to rescue his hometown club from relegation.
The 18-19 season would also provide a further breakout for Mysak on the world stage as he would represent the Czech Republic at both the U17 & U18 World Hockey Championships, recording a goal and an assist in 5 games at the U17 WHC & 3 assists at the U18 WHC while also adding an additional 9 goals & 12 assists for 21 points in 24 international contests. From August 5th to 10th 2019, Mysak earned the opportunity to represent the Czech Republic in the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup in Breclav, Czech Republic. The hockey savant from Litvinov playing in the tournament named for the HC Litvinov great and despite a 5th place finish for the team, Mysak would shine recording 2 goals in 4 games and showing his full set of skills from blistering speed to tremendous hockey IQ and had fans in Hamilton eagerly awaiting his arrival to the Ontario Hockey League.