Visegrád Cup ready to start third season

2019.08.06. 10:12 |
The third addition of the Visegrád Cup will be starting an August on Wednesday August 13th. This season will have teams from four different countries competing for the cup.

In addition to teams from Hungary and Slovakia there will be clubs from Poland and the Czech Republic joining in the race for gold. 

For the 2019-2020 season the two most well known clubs will be representing the ERSTE Liga, UTE and winning their first league title in 22 years, Ferencváros. Slovakia it will be HK Nitra who made it to the finals the previous year and HC Detva, with HC Torax Poruba coming from the Czech Republic. Poland will be sending their top three teams from last season in Jastrzębie, Nowy Targ and Katowice.

The defending ERSTE Liga champions FTC-Telekom only became stronger in the offseason as they added Attila Németh in addition to top scorers such as Gergő Nagy, Brett Switzer and Adrián Tóth. The team will also be returning starting goalie Gergely Arany. Top Ferencváros rivals UTE will be the other Hungarian team in the competition. Unlike FTC, UTE did go through some roster changes this past offseason as they have new list of imports on the roster in defencemen Cody Carlson and Mathieu Henderson on the backside. Up front Jared Brown, Stepan Csamango, Devin DiDiomete and Evan Jansson can also score, they will be key as only András Benk and Ladislav Sikorcin return from their top six scoring forwards from last season. Dávid Duschek will be the number one goalie for the season.

HK Nitra is a strong Slovak team traditionally as they lost in the Extraliga finals last season and won the title in 2016. Nitra picked up Karol Csányi from UTE in the offseason and added former NHL defenceman Dylon Olsen on the backside. For the most part they will have the same team as they did for the 2018-19 season. The goaltending deuties look to be split between Juraj Simbach and the veteran Miroslav Hanuljak. The other Slovak team in the Visegrád Cup will be Detva who won promotion to Extraliga three seasons ago and made the playoffs last season. The team has picked up a number of players in the offseason such as goalie Marek Simko, defenemen Marek Pac and Janis Andersons along with forwards Martin Podesva and Peter Zuzin. Hopefully they will be just as good or even better than they players that left.

Starting this season Polish teams have joined the Visegrád Cup and thus bringing in another Visegrád country to the series. JKH GKH Jastrzębie has been a perennial playoff team in Poland for the past decade. They will be relying on strong goaltending from Ondrej Raszka with Arkadiusz Kostek and Jakub Giminski holding down the blueline with new additions Kamil Gorny and Henrich Jabornik. Martin Kasperlík should take a step forward in the scoring department, but new additions Maciej Urbanowicz and Jesse Rohtla will also find the back of the net. GKS Katowice are a traditional team in Poland who will have a strong roster. In the offseason they brought in former SHL goalie Robin Rahm to hold down the goaltending. The team returns veteran blueliners Martin Cakajik and Dusan Devecka but also put an effort in strengthening this position by adding Miika Franssila, Oskar Jaskiewicz, Juuso Salmi, Damian Tomasik and Patryk Wajda. Up front the team lost their top three scorers from last season but the next three are back in Grzgorz Pasiut, Martin Cakajik and Mikolaj Lopuski The club did add French national team player Teddy Da Costa along with imports Nestori Lahde and Jussi Makkonen from the Liiga also Tuuka Rajamaki, Jaako Turtiainen, Oula Uski and Mateusz Michalski were added. Podlaha Nowy Targ is another strong Polish team that has a great youth system. Legendary Polish goalie Przemyslaw Odrobny will be the starting goalie. On defence they might be weaker compared to last season. Robert Mrugala, Maciej Sulka and Patryk Wsol will be holding down the back side for now. Scoring forwards Krytian Dziubinski, Bartlomiej Neupauer and Krzysztof Zapala are all back. These veteren forwards have international experience as well. Dylan Willick should be a solid addition as well to the forward unit.

The only Czech team this season competing for the Visegrád Cup will be HC Torax Poruba, who will be competing in the Czech second division this coming season. Frederik Foltán and Hynek Kudela will be the two goalies competing for the starting spot. Marek Slavik has been a stable point on the blueline for the last number of years for Poruba but the team did add Dominik Rudl, David Jirasek, Patrik Husak with Filip Dundacek also returning to the team. Leading scorer Jan Kana is returning along with former NHL forward Petr Kanko. New additions Ales Heinrich and Zdenek Kubica are expected to support the scoring.

The competition is split into two groups, Group A will be FTC-Telekom (Hungary), JKH GKH Jastrzębie (Poland), GKS Katowice (Poland) and HK Nitra (Slovakia). With Group B being UTE (Hungary), HC 07 Detva (Slovakia), Podhale Nowy Targ (Poland) and HC Torax Poruba (Czech Republic). The group stage will start competition from August 13th through September 6th. The quarter finals will be played in October, the semi finals in November and the Visegrad Cup final will be held in January of 2020.

All Visegrád Cup information can be found here.

2019.08.13: HC 07 Detva-HC RT Torax Poruba
2019.08.16: JKH GKS Jastrzębie-GKS Katowice
2019.08.20: HC 07 Detva-UTE
2019.08.21: HC RT Torax Poruba-Podhale Nowy Targ
2019.08.23: HK Nitra-FTC-Telekom
2019.08.24: Podhale Nowy Targ-HC 07 Detva
2019.08.27: GKS Katowice-HK Nitra
2019.08.27: HC RT Torax Poruba-UTE
2019.08.30: HK Nitra-JKH GKS Jastrzębie
2019.08.31: UTE-Podhale Nowy Targ
2019.09.03: JKH GKS Jastrzębie-FTC-Telekom
2019.09.06: FTC-Telekom-GKS Katowice