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Vaněček “most likely” to continue his career in Czech Republic

By on July 17, 2014 in European with 0 Comments


Vaněček playing for the Czech Under-18 national team. Photo courtesy of

Vaněček playing for the Czech Under-18 national team. Photo courtesy of

LIBEREC, CZE – It’s been just a couple days since the Washington Capitals signed their second choice of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, goaltender Vítek Vaněček, to a three-year contract. While there was some speculation that he might end up playing for AHL’s Hershey Bears or even ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays come new season, it looks like none of that will come true.

Vaněček, an 18-year-old native of Havlíčkův Brod, will “most likely” stay in Liberec, according to Ctibor Jech, the general manager of the team that acquired the talented netminder just a year ago. “The plan for him is to be our number-three goaltender which means that he would spend the season playing for our farm team in Benátky nad Jizerou [in First League, one level below the Extraliga],” declared Jech.

The Capitals drafted Vaněček 39th overall just weeks ago in Philadelphia making him 4th goalie selected overall and 1st out of Europe despite the fact that he was ranked 8th among European goalies prior to the event.

Last year catapulted Vaněček into scouts’ recognition as he was impressive both at club level and in IIHF events. First off, he had a memorable bronze-medal winning Ivan Hlinka Tournament and then spent the entire season playing for Liberec in the U20 Extraliga, adding one appearance for the aforementioned farm team in Benátky nad Jizerou and capping off the season by winning silver medal at the U18 World Juniors in Finland.

“The negotiations between us and Washington are still going on, but the likelihood [of Vítek staying] is about 90 %,” added Jech in a press release. However, Capitals PR Twitter account said Tuesday that “Vanecek will play in Czech Republic next season on assignment under his NHL contract.”

One way or another, Vaněček remains one of the hot candidates for a spot at the Under-20 national team for the World Juniors in Canada.

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