After spending 2014-15 with an Italian team in the Austrian based Erste Bank Eishockey Liga, OHL grad Bryan Rodney looks to be starting his 2015-16 season in the Czech Republic’s Extraliga with HC Karlovy Vary. Lukas Mensator is currently being loaned by the club to fill the goaltending position while Radim Bicanek will celebrate his 41st birthday with Karlovy Vary in January.
Rodney played five years in the Ontario Hockey League from 2000-01 to 2004-05 with the Ottawa 67’s, Kingston Frontenacs and London Knights. He was the 18th overall pick at the 2000 OHL Priority Selection, going to the 67’s.
Bryan led all OHL defensemen for assists in both the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons. He led all D-men in overall scoring in 2003-04. Over his career, he played 311 regular season games, scoring 47 and assisting on 187 for 234 points. In 38 playoff games, he added 25 points.
Undrafted to the National Hockey League, Rodney did appear in 34 games in the league between 2008-09 and 2011-12 with the Carolina Hurricanes and Edmonton Oilers. Since 2005-06, he has played in the AHL, ECHL, NHL and EBEL.
This past season, 2014-15, Bryan played 45 games for HC Bolzano in the EBEL, contributing 26 points from the blue line. He played in seven playoff games with the club, as well. Bolzano played in Italy’s LIHG before switching to the EBEL for 2013-14. They were playoff champions in their first year.
Lukas Mensator played two years between the pipes for the Ottawa 67’s in 2002-03 and 2003-04, after Bryan Rodney had moved to Kingston. He was the fourth overall pick by Ottawa at the 2002 CHL Import Draft. That same year, the Vancouver Canucks took him in the third round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, 83rd overall.
Mensator has played pro in the Czech Republic since leaving the OHL. He was a member of HC Karlovy Vary from 2004-05 to 2012-13. Lukas started the 2015-16 season in the Czech tier 2 league with HC Kladno but has been loaned back up to his old team.
Radim Bicanek is so old. How old is he? Bicanek played in the 1993 World Juniors not for the Czech Republic but for the former united country of Czechoslovakia. Radim played two years in the Ontario Hockey League with the Belleville Bulls, 1993-94 and 1994-95.
He was a second round pick by the Ottawa Senators at the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, 27th overall. He went onto play 122 regular season games in the National Hockey League between 1994-95 and 2001-02 with the Senators, Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Bicanek has been in the Czech Extraliga since 2004-05. He has been a member of HC Karlovy Vary since 2013-14.
HC Karlovy Vary
The franchise has roots back to 1932. These days, they play home games at the KV Arena in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, a 6,000 seat venue that opened in 2009. The team was promoted to the Extraliga for the 1997-98 season. Since then, they really only made the post season in 2007-08 and 2008-09 but they made the most of it. In 2007-08, they lost in the finals and the following year they won the championship.
Karlovy Vary is a spa town in the western extremes of the Czech Republic, near the border with Germany. The city of around 50,000 is famous for its hot springs. It should also be noted, if you plan a European hockey odyssey, this is one place you should look into. Along with the history and spa treatment, hotels are considerably cheaper than the country’s main draw, Prague.