For a very long time, the simple mention of Czech Republic taking part in an international tournament brought up to mind Jaromir Jagr in the national team jersey racking up the points, not anymore though...The ageless wonder has retired from international hockey and it's time for some youngsters to take over. Question is though, will they be able to do better? Slotted to play in group A the Czechs will have to battle Canada, USA and Team Europe for the top two positions of the group which allow access to the semi-final stage. To find the country's last olympic gold medal you have to go all the way back to Nagano in 1998 and its last World Championship title was in 2010, it's been a while since the team was seen as a real threat and I fear the trend may very well go on.

As training camp approaches, the roster is as follows:


Petr Mrazek: Now the Red Wings starting netminder, Mrazek is coming off his busiest season to date having played in 54 games while gathering 27 wins and posting respectable numbers (2.33 GAA and .921 SP). He featured for his national team at the World Junior Championships in 2012 where they were eliminated in the quarter-final but he was still named the best goaltender of the tournament. In the same year, he also served as the third string goalie for the senior team at the World Championships and left with a bronze medal.

Michal Neuvirth: Unfortunately for Neuvirth he always seems to be the bridesmaid and never the bride as the saying goes. He has played for 4 NHL teams and has yet to occupy the number one position. He does have pretty good numbers for a back-up though with 84 career wins in 200 games, a 2.66 GAA and a .914 SP. He took part in 32 games for the Flyers this year and recorded 18 wins. Chances are, he will not be THE man for Czech Republic in this tournament.

Ondrej Pavelec: The oldest of the three goaltenders, Pavelec still might not have the inside track. He was the starting goaltender for the national team in the last olympic games but they finished 6th and his stats were far from stellar (2.87 GAA and .888 SP). He only played in 33 games for the Jets this season recording a modest 13 wins and the smart money says he will play second fiddle to Mrazek.


Michal Jordan: A fourth round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes in 2008, Jordan has played a total of 79 games at the NHL level since then. Right now, he is a free agent and might be hoping to impress in this tournament.

Zbynek Michalek: The 33 year old veteran is an undrafted player who still managed to play for 4 teams in the NHL in 781 matches. He is currently under contract with the Arizona Coyotes and lines-up in their second pairing alongside Alex Goligoski. As his stats indicate, he is by no means an offensive D-man ( 7 points in 70 games last year) but he has been an integral part of the national team for a number of years.

Jakub Nakladal: Nakladal was never drafted and after a number of years playing in Europe, both in the Czech league and the KHL, he finally decided to try his luck in the NHL joining the Calgary Flames as a free agent at the age of 28. He played 27 games with them, recording 5 points and he is now a free agent.

Radko Gudas: One of the familiar names in this defensive corps, Gudas is more likely to see his name in the penalty listings than on the scoresheet. However, considering how robust the Czech Republic opponents are, he might have come in handy had he not just announced that he cannot take part after injuring his wrist in training.

Roman Polak: After a two years stint with the Sharks, Polak resigned with Toronto this summer on a one year contract, no doubt to bring some experience to the young Leafs. The Czechs will not be able to rely on him either for much offence as he has never recorded more than 21 points in an NHL season.

Andrej Sustr: A reliable second-pairing defensemen in Tampa Bay, Sustr has yet to play for his country at the senior level. He's only played 3 full NHL season and just like Polak, his career high in points is 21.

Michal Kempny: With Avangard Omsk of the KHL last season, Kempny recorded 21 points in 59 games and at 25, he signed his first NHL contract this spring with the Chicago Blackhawks. Given Chicago's knack for finding talent, something tells me we may want to keep an eye on this D-man.


Radek Faska: With one season of NHL hockey under his belt, it's hard to say what Faska can do and what kind of impact he can have. He gathered 12 points in 45 games with the Stars last year and I would guess that he will be a depth forward rather than anything else for the national side.

Ales Hemsky: He was once a real scoring threat when he wore the Oilers' colours but those days are long gone. Now with the Dallas Stars, he got 32 points in 2014-2015 and 39 in the last season. That being said, he may be able to get a bigger role on Team Czech Republic than the one he has in Dallas.

Dimitrij Jaskin: At 23, he's still a youngster and in a crowded Blues line-up, it's hard to find your place. Back in his junior days he played for the Moncton Wildcats and just missed the 100 point landmark scoring 99 in just 51 games. He has scoring abilities but will he be able to showcase them?

Milan Michalek: The 31 year old vet is not the threat he once was for opposing goaltenders, last season he only managed 16 points in 45 games. I'm fairly confident in saying that the team is not expecting him to have a major impact in this tournament.

Michael Frolik: This former first round pick can generally be relied on for a good 40 point per season in the NHL. Last year he fell short of that mark but to be fair he only played 64 games with the Flames because of injuries. He could manage to find a spot on the top two lines for the World Cup.

Martin Hanzal: He's actually improved with age, at 29 he's coming off his most productive season with the Coyotes having scored 41 points in just 64 games. It should also be noted that he has not played a full season since 2009-2010, being injured far too often. He should also feature on the top two lines.

Tomas Hertl: He spent a good chunk of last season on the Sharks' first line alongside Thornton and Pavelski and recorded 26 points. He may only be 22 but something tells me he could have played a big part for the Czech Republic if he didn't just withdraw on account of the right knee injury he sustained during the playoffs.

Roman Cervenka: The fact that David Krejci needs more time to recover from hip surgery resulted in Cervenka being invited. He currently plays his club hockey in Switzerland, lining up for HC Fribourg-Gotteron after spending the last two seasons in the KHL. Not to be unking to Cervenka, but he is no David Krejci and his absence will no doubt hurt the Czech outfit.

Ondrej Palat: Hit by injury in the last season, he saw his production decline and managed only 40 points. Now that he's all better though, he should no doubt find a spot on one of the top two lines and be an offensive dynamo for the side.

David Pastrnak: The Bruins' youngster had an up and down season marred by injuries but he will still be expected to make an offensive contribution for the national team. It's not unreasonable to think that he may find himself on the top line.

Tomas Plekanec: The Canadiens' centre is not getting any younger at 33 but he still managed 54 points on a team that struggled all season long. Not only can he put up points but he can also play on the penalty kill and do a very good defensive job. Plekanec is Czech Republic's Patrice Bergeron.

Vladimir Sobotka: Once a st-Louis Blues player, he bolted to the KHL after he got a contract he wasn't happy with through arbitration. In the last two seasons, he recorded 38 points in 51 games and 34 points in 44 games last year. In a team that will need offense from wherever it can get, he should be expected to land on the second line.

Jakub Voracek: The Flyers' right winger has struggled last season, his points production falling from 81 to 55. Nevertheless, he should still feature on the top line and be relied on rather heavily in the tournament.

Gudas and Hertl's replacements are yet to be known but from the get go, I would say that things are not looking very good for the Czech team. They are in a very strong group and may struggle to find some offense. You can check out their schedule right here: