The Olympics start within the week and we all know, whether or not we all agree with the choices, who will be playing Canada and the United States. Both teams have their fair share of Ontario Hockey League grads on their roster. We’re going to look at four OHL alumni that will be playing in the tournament that are from countries not so familiar to the North American hockey fans.
Andre Lakos – Austria
Austria may not go far in the tournament but at 6’8″ and 236 lbs, Andre Lakos will stand out from the crowd. Lakos played two years in the OHL, 1997-98 and 1998-99. In his first year, he played for the Toronto Majors and in his second he played for the Barrie Colts.
Andre was a third round pick by the New Jersey Devils at the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, 95th overall, but never played in the league. Since 1999-00, Lakos has appeared in the AHL, ECHL, Austria’s EBEL, Sweden’s SHL, Russia’s KHL, Germany’s DEL and the Czech Extraliga. In 2013-14, he started out in the Extraliga with KLH Chomutov but is now with the Vienna Capitals in the EBEL.
Born in Vienna, Austria, Lakos played for his country at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. He has also played for Austria at nine different IIHF World Championships since 1999.
Jakub Kovar – Czech Republic
Kovar played just one year in the Ontario Hockey League, 2007-08. Jakub played 16 games between the pipes with the Oshawa Generals before moving west to the Windsor Spitfires where he played in 20 more games. Jakub was a fourth round pick by the Philadelphia Flyers at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, 109th overall but has only played pro hockey in the Czech Extraliga and the KHL. Kovar is currently playing in the KHL with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg and putting up great numbers with a 1.91 goals against average and .934 save percentage over 44 games.
This will be the first Olympics for Kovar. He played for the Czech Republic at the 2007 and 2008 IIHF World Juniors. He also played for the Czechs at the World Championships in 2011 and 2012. Jakub was born in Pisek, Czech Republic.
Andrej Sekera – Slovakia
Sekera played two years in the OHL, 2004-05 and 2005-06, both with the Owen Sound Attack. Andrej came to Owen Sound already a prospect of the Buffalo Sabres. he was a third round pick by Buffalo at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, 71st overall.
Since 2006-07, Sekera has played pro in the AHL and NHL. Most of his career was spent with the Sabres but 2013-14 is his first year with the Carolina Hurricanes. Andrej will reach the 400 NHL regular season game plateau just after he returns from Sochi.
Sekera played for the Slovaks at the 2005 and 2006 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. He was on the team for the 2010 Olympics and has competed at the World Championships five times since 2008. Andrej was born in Bojnice, Slovakia.
Jan Mursak – Slovenia
Mursak played two years in the OHL, 2006-07 and 2007-08, with the Saginaw Spirit and Belleville Bulls. Jan was a sixth round pick by the Detroit Red Wings at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, 182nd overall. He has played some NHL, along with action in the AHL, EBEL and KHL. 2013-14 is Mursak’s first year in the KHL. He started the year with Amur Khabarovsk and is now with CSKA Moskva.
Jan played for Slovenia at the 2006, 2007 and 2008 WJC Division 1 championships. He also played at the 2010 World Championships in Division 1. This will be Mursak’s first Olympics. Jan was born in Maribor, Slovenia.