After a year playing in Belarus, Ontario Hockey League grad Patrik Lusnak was back in his native Slovakia for 2015-16. Sort of. Lusnak didn’t play in the country’s Extraliga. Rather, he played for HC Slovan Bratislava in the Russia based KHL. Joining him on Slovan this season were two other OHL grads, Ivan Svarny and Lukas Kaspar. With the shorter KHL season, the team has already been bounced from the first round of the playoffs.
Lusnak played three years in the Ontario Hockey League from 2006-07 to 2008-09 with the Sudbury Wolves. Patrik was originally drafted by the Wolves 51st overall at the 2006 CHL Import Draft. Over his three years, he scored 57 goals and assisted on 78 for 135 points over 160 regular season games.
In the playoffs, he added seven points over 21 games. In 2006-07, Lusnak helped Sudbury to the OHL finals before falling to the Plymouth Whalers. In 2008-09, he left the Wolves after 35 games to play pro in the Czech Extraliga for HC Trinec. In his 35 games, he put up great numbers with 20 goals and 14 assists, leading the team in scoring at the time of his departure.
Patrik played for Slovakia at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championships. The tournament was held in the Czech Republic with Slovakia finishing fourth in Group A, behind Sweden, Canada and the host team. Slovakia went undefeated in the relegation round and placed seventh overall out of the ten teams that competed. In six games, Lusnak scored two and assisted on three.
Since 2009-10, Lusnak has played pro hockey in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Belarus and with HC Slovan Bratislava in the KHL. In 2015-16, he scored just four goals and assisted on three over 55 regular season games as Bratislava finished eighth in the Western Conference. Slovan was then swept in the opening round by CSKA Moscow with Lusnak not contributing any points.
Is is to be seen whether he will play for Slovakia at the 2016 IIHF World Championships. Patrik played in the 2015 tournament, held in the Czech Republic. Slovakia finished fifth in Group B, out of the playoff round but safe from relegation. Out of 16 teams, they placed ninth overall.
HC Slovan Bratislava
Bratislava has competed in the KHL since the 2012-13 season. Since joining, they have reached the Gagarin Cup playoffs twice without a series win. Previously, HC Slovan was in the Slovak Extraliga where they were champions eight times between 1997-98 and 2011-12. Home games are played at the 10,059 seat Slovnaft Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia, a venue that first opened in 1940.
Other OHL grads on the roster include Ivan Svarny who played two years with the Belleville Bulls in 2002-03 and 2003-04, along with Lukas Kaspar who played a single season with the Ottawa 67’s in 2004-05.