After signing two great Ontario Hockey League alumni defensemen, The Hague should need just marginal offense to defend their Netherlands Eredivisie championship in 2013-14. On the blue line will London Knights grad Alex Henry and Barrie Colts alum Jan Platil.
Henry played three years with the London Knights from 1996-97 to 1998-99, just missing out on the disasterous 1995-96 season and culminating his career with a Robertson Cup finals appearance against the Belleville Bulls. Alex was a hidden gem for the Knights, picked way, way down in the 16th round of the 1996 OHL Priority Selection, 254th overall. By the time his third year rolled around, it seemed like Henry was playing 40+ minutes per game on the point for London.
The Edmonton Oilers selected Henry in the third round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, 67th overall. He has played in 177 regular season National Hockey League games, all between 2002-03 and 2008-09, with the Oilers (3 games), Washington Capitals, Minnesota Wild and Montreal Canadiens. With Minnesota in 2005-06, Alex wore the ‘A’. Over that time, he did not appear in a single Stanley Cup playoff game.
In the American Hockey League, Alex is a veteran. Up until leaving for Europe for the 2012-13 season, he had put in 632 regular season games and 68 more in the Calder Cup playoffs. Henry was captain of the Milwaukee Admirals in 2007-08 then sewed on the ‘C’ for the Hamilton Bulldogs from 2009-10 to 2011-12.
With the Bulldogs, he played in three different conference finals, all on the losing end. In 2001-02, when the team was affiliated with the Oilers, Hamilton lost in seven to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. As a Montreal affiliate, the Bulldogs reached the conference finals in consecutive years 2009-10 and 2010-11. Both those matchups went the full seven and in both years, Hamilton outscored their opponents in the losing cause.
In 2009-10, the Bulldogs lost to the Texas Stars in seven. Hamilton outscored Texas 18-17 in the series with four of seven games going to overtime. The following year, it was the Houston Aeros ousting the Bulldogs in seven. This time, Hamilton outscored their opponent by a relatively large margin, 25-19.
This past year, 2012-13, Alex played in Austria’s Erste Bank Eishockey Liga (EBEL) with Dusseldorfer EG. Always the leader, Henry wore the ‘A’.
Platil played three years in the OHL, starting where Alex Henry left off. From 2000-01 to 2002-03, Jan played for the Barrie Colts. He was selected ninth overall by Barrie at the 2000 OHL Priority Selection and was the third pick by an OHL club behind Lukas Karjicek (3rd overall to the Peterborough Petes) and Frantisek Lukes (sixth overall to the Toronto Majors). Like Henry, Platil played in a losing effort at the Robertson Cup finals with the Colts falling to the Erie Otters in five games in 2001-02.
The Ottawa Senators selected Platil in the seventh round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, 218th overall. After toiling with the Binghamton Senators in the AHL right out of junior, Jan went back to Europe for the 2006-07 season and has been there since. Well travelled, he has played in Finland’s Liiga, Russia’s RSL and KHL, the Czech Extraliga, the Slovakia Extraliga, Germany’s DEL, Austria’s EBEL and Italy’s LIHG.
In 2012-13, Platil was limited to just eight games of pro hockey. He played in eight with Pontebba of Italy’s LIHG on a tryout basis but was not offered a contract. An offensive defenseman with the Colts, Jan has scored just two goals since 2009-10.
HYS The Hague
The team plays in the eight team Eredivisie in the Netherlands. The league has a short season with teams playing less than 40 regular season games. The Hague has been champions three of the past five years, 2008-09, 2010-11 and 2012-13. The franchise dates back to 1933 and plays home games at De Uithof in Den Haag, a 2,200 seat venue built in 1973.