Last year- Buoyed by a standout performance from Ottawa 67’s goalie Petr Mrazek (named the tournament’s top goalie), the Czechs finished second to Canada in their pool and also eliminated the US from medal contention. They lost the quarterfinal and ended up 5th in the final standings.
# Returnees – 6 – David Musil, Tomas Hertl, Tomas Hyka, Lukas Sedlak, Dmitri Jaskin, Radek Faksa
Key Players – Musil will be the key to the Czechs in their own end. He was pointless last year but led his team with a plus 5 rating. Faksa is a dynamic talent who should put up more than the 2 goals he contributed last year, and should combine with Hertl to lead the team offensively.
Watch For – Jacob Vrana. The youngest player likely to be playing in the tournament, isn’t eligible until the 2014 draft. It will be a learning experience for the 16 year old who will make a impact in future years.
Prediction – The Czech’s placing last year put them in a position to be in what is considered the weaker pool. A quarterfinal appearance is almost assured, but they will be in tough to make the semifinals and improve on their standing from last year.