Josh Unice is the latest Ontario Hockey League grad to sign with HC Banska Bystrica of the Slovakian Extraliga. Goaltender Unice joins fellow American Kevin Montgomery and Slovakia native Miroslav Preisinger. Banska Bystrica currently sits fourth in the ten team Extraliga with a third of the regular season already in the books.
Unice played three years in the OHL from 2007-08 to 2009-10 with the Kitchener Rangers and Windsor Spitfires. After helping the Rangers to a Robertson Cup championship in 2007-08, Josh was traded to the Spits midway through 2008-09, in time to win another Robertson Cup with Windsor.
Unice played one game for the United States at the 2009 IIHF World Juniors. After three games with the Spitfires in 2009-10, Unice joined the University of Western Ontario Mustangs.
The Chicago Blackhawks selected Unice in the third round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, 86th overall. Josh played parts of five seasons in the OUA with UWO, ending in 2013-14. His first pro action came at the end of the 2013-14, appearing in four ECHL games with the Gwinnett Gladiators.
Montgomery played three years in the Ontario Hockey League from 2006-07 to 2008-09 with the London Knights. Kevin was a fifth round pick by the Knights at the 2004 OHL Priority Selection. He played for the United States at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships.
The Colorado Avalanche took Montgomery in the fourth round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, 110th overall. His first pro action came in 2007-08 with five AHL games with the Lake Erie Monsters. Kevin signed an entry level contract with the Avalanche in July, 2008 but has yet to appear in an NHL regular season game.
Montgomery has played full-time pro hockey since 2009-10 in the American Hockey League, Norway’s Get Ligaen, Austria’s EBEL and the Slovakian Extraliga. In 2013-14, Kevin played exclusively for Dornbirner EC in the EBEL.
Preisinger played two years in the OHL, 2008-09 and 2009-10, with the Sarnia Sting. Miroslav was the 31st overall pick at the 2008 CHL Import Draft, going to the Sting. He played for Slovakia at the 2011 IIHF WJC, after returning to his home country.
Undrafted to the National Hockey League, Preisinger has played in the Extraliga since 2010-11, with exception of 15 games in the KHL with HC Slovan Bratislava in 2012-13. 2013-14 was spent with HK 36 Skalica in the Extraliga. Miroslav is signed with HC Banska Bystrica through the 2015-16 season.
HC Banska Bystrica
The team was promoted to the Extraliga for the 2008-09 season. HC Banska Bystrica has reached the post season each year since but have failed to get past the semi-finals. Currently, the team is fourth in the ten team Extraliga with 18 of 56 games in the books. Interestingly, an eleventh team, Team Slovakia U20, plays two games against each of the ten teams. HC Banska Bystrica plays home games at the Zimny Banska Bystrica, a 3,000 seat venue that opened in 1956.
Banska Bystrica is a city located in Central Slovakia. The city is located on the Hron River and is surrounded by mountains. The population is around 80,000.