For the second day in a row, we’re featuring a Slovakian-born Ontario Hockey League alumnus currently playing for HC Spartak Moskva (Moscow) of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League. Yesterday it was Stefan Ruzicka. Today it’s Branko Radivojevic.
Radivojevic played three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League from 1998-99 to 2000-01, all with the Belleville Bulls. In his rookie season, he provided the Bulls with 24 points in 21 playoff games as Belleville won the Robertson Cup as the OHL’s playoff champion with a victory over the London Knights. This previous post features the 14 graduates from that 1999 Robertson Cup winning team that were still active in professional hockey during the 2009-10 season.
In his final season with the Bulls, Radivojevic’s 34 goals and 70 assists for 104 regular season points placed him third in the league behind teammate Kyle Wellwood and Jason Spezza. He was named to the OHL’s first team all-star squad and won the Jim Mahon Trophy as the OHL’s top scoring right winger.
Branko was taken by the Colorado Avalanche in the third round of the 1999 NHL draft, 93rd overall. He never played for the Avalanche but before leaving for the KHL, Radivojevic had put in 399 regular season NHL games with the Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers and Minnesota Wild.
Radivojevic has represented Slovakia on the world stage on six occasions to date. He competed in the 2000 IIHF Under-20 World Junior Hockey Championships. He has appeared in four IIHF World Hockey Championships, winning a bronze medal in 2003. Most recently, Branko skated in Vancouver for Slovakia at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. This previous post features the Ontario Hockey League grads that played for Slovakia at the 2010 Olympic Games.
Branko first returned to European hockey during the NHL strike year of 2004-05. He split his season between HC Vsetin of the Czech Republic’s Extraliga and Luleå of Sweden’s Eliteserien. He has entered his third season with HC Spartak Moskva and after wearing the ‘A’ on his jersey last season, Branko is the team’s captain for 2010-11. He has been a KHL all-star in each of his two previous seasons with Moscow and led the team in scoring both years with 45 points in 49 games in 2008-09 and 54 points in 56 games in 2009-10. He is under contract with the team until the end of the 2011-12 season.