The Salzburg Red Bulls of Austria’s Erste Bank Eishockey Liga are playoff champions for the second year in a row. Salzburg has dominated the EBEL with four championships in the past five years.
This year, they had three Ontario Hockey League grads contributing as the Red Bulls took Klagenfurter to seven games in the final. Klagenfurter finished atop the EBEL during the regular season, followed closely by Salzburg and breezed through the playoffs before meeting up with their nemesis. Salzburg beat Ljubljana easily in the first round but was taken to seven by the Vienna Capitals in the semi-final.
Andre Lakos was born in Vienna, Austria and played two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, 1997-98 and 1998-99. In his first season of OHL hockey, Andre played for the Toront St. Michael’s Majors. In his second, he played for the Barrie Colts. After his season in Barrie, the New Jersey Devils selected him in the third round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, 95th overall.
Lakos played three years in the American Hockey League before returning to Europe. Since, he has played in Sweden, Russian and Austria. At 6’8″ and 238 lbs., Andre was the tallest and heaviest player in the EBEL this season.
Danny Bois played four seasons with the London Knights from 2000-01 to 2003-04. The Colorado Avalanche draft pick played several years in the Ottawa Senators system with their AHL affiliate, the Binghamton Senators. After the 2009-10 season playing with Chicago’s AHL team, the Rockford IceHogs, it was off to Austria for the 2010-11 season.
As usual with Bois, he provided muscle, earning 136 PIM in 48 regular season games while also providing offense with 29 points.
Martin St. Pierre saw the most of Europe this season. He began in Russia’s KHL, switched to Finland’s SM-Liiga after eight games and finished off the season with Salzburg. St. Pierre played in the Ontario Hockey League the same four years as Danny Bois but with the Guelph Storm. He saw some NHL action through the years with the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators. Like Bois, this was Martin’s first year in Europe.