Michal Bulíř, Peter Čerešňák or Tomáš Mertl, the club’s season ended a month ago, but even so, hockey fans in Pilsen can still go to the stadium and cheer Škoda on the way to the title(s). Pilsen juniors and teenagers are fighting in the finals of their leagues, which only confirms the great work with the youngsters there.
After three years, he will again compete for a valid title in the highest junior and youth competition. No coronavirus response, no Hockey Union HQ response.
“These are the best games of the season, and when the boys don’t play them for two seasons it hurts their development. They lost a lot of games and experiences like this,” the sporting director said. from Pilsen and former striker Tomáš Vlasák.
The junior and youth supplemental league culminates in a four-game winning streak, a change from the past. “I definitely welcome him. The blood is finally playing out, these are the hardest matches and the series should be long,” says the three-time world champion.
The juniors had a four-game winning streak in the semi-finals, they played the quarter-finals for three. The youngsters started with a series of eight finals for two victories and continued with three between the first eight and four. Pilsen made their way to both finals in both spiders.
The youngsters are just one step away from winning the title, they lead 3:1 in the series with Sparta, and tomorrow they will play their fifth game at home. Yesterday, the juniors eliminated Sparta in the semi-finals (4-2) and in the fight for the title they will challenge Liberec from Saturday.
“We need young people in our club, we want to tap into their plate. These results make us happy, I believe that the boys will manage the final series. Pilsen for seven years.
This season saw the junior start with fifteen straight wins, and some players had volunteered for the occasion at the time.
Defenders Daniel Malák, Jakub Hamšík, Vladimír Kremláček and forwards Sebastian Malát, Adam Dvořák, Václav Adamec, Marcel Marcel and Jan Slanina from the Pilsen juniors got a taste of the adult extra league.
18-year-old quarterback David Jiříček is a category unto himself, he hasn’t played for juniors for the second year in a row and is looking forward to a high spot in the NHL Draft this year.
The West Czechs have long been integrating young people into the A team most actively in the extra league, as data from the Hokej.cz website shows. Players under 20 in Pilsen, in the base part, they received more than eight percent ice space, while other clubs did not rush five percent.
Are you interested in how much space your favorite team gives to juniors or how much time players over 30 have?
Here we are! 📈
Distribution of time on ice according to individual age categories in the basic part of the 2021-22 season. #TELH
Data source: https://t.co/Fw2JtGdQ11 pic.twitter.com/7hJ4rgzQd4
– Jiří Vitek (@JVitek94) March 29, 2022
Similarly, Pilsen clearly dominates in the category up to 25 years. These players have played more than 50% of her time this season, while in České Budějovice it was not even 10% (and even less).
“It’s great that the boys can already win something in youth. They form a group, learn how to behave and help each other. New leaders are emerging,” says Vlasák about the importance of the playoffs in the youth. “But the main thing is that the boys from junior and junior are making their way into the A,” he adds.
Besides the extraordinary talent of Jiříček, David Kvasnička, Lukáš Kaňák, Martin Lang, Petr Kodýtek, Matyáš Kantner, Filip Přikryl and Filip Suchý have recently succeeded each other. In this way, Jakub Pour even bounced back from the rookie deal with Chicago.
Vlasák has repeatedly said that Pilsen is “forced” to fill staff from its own reserves, partly due to less economic power. He can’t afford to buy big stars.
“But even if we belonged to rich clubs, I think we would do the same,” he notes. Vlasák won three extra-league bronzes with Pilsen as sporting director. Over the past two years, he’s always had a great base game, but he quickly gave up with the twelfth and eleventh teams in the preliminary round, respectively.
“We are sorry and we are trying to transform the team typologically until next season. However, the youngsters will continue to have chances. This is how it is and it will be,” he said.
At the moment, Vlasák, in addition to the successful playoffs for teenagers and juniors, also benefits from the participation of hockey players from Pilsen in the preparation of the national team before the World Cup. The Indians have five-member representation in Kari Jalonen’s squad, four of whom are descendants of the club.
And to them can be added the experienced representatives Jakub Jeřábek and David Sklenička, also from Pilsen. “Thanks to them, young boys see that when they are wet they can play hockey professionally. For them, it means that working on themselves makes sense,” Vlasák said.
The winner of the extra youth league can therefore be decided tomorrow, the junior final will start on Saturday. It is already known that the highest competition of players under 20 remained Kladno, Chomutov, České Budějovice, Slavia and Havířov. Litvínov saved himself in a game against Přerov.