The Detroit Red Wings are hoping they’ve landed another gem. They’ve signed free-agent defenseman Libor Sulak, a Czech native who has played the past two years for Orli Znojmo in Eishockey Liga, the top professional Austrian League.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) May 24, 2017
According to reports, Sulak’s talents attracted the interest of several NHL teams,
“The 6-foot-2, 207-pound blueliner has appeared in 106 games for Orli Znojmo over the past two seasons, totaling 46 points (16-30-46), a plus-19 rating and 55 penalty minutes, in addition to nine points (5-4-9) in 22 playoff games. He was the league’s rookie of the year in 2016, picking up 18 points (6-12-18) in 62 games. Sulak also has professional experience in his home country, registering four points (2-2-4) in 32 games in 2013-14 for Pirati Chomutov in the top Czech league and adding 11 points (4-7-11) for SK Kadan in 39 games between 2012-15 in the Czech Republic’s second-tier league.”
Red Wings director of player evaluation and former defenseman Jiri Fischer had positive things to say about Sulak after the signing was announced by the team. Like Sulak, Fischer is a Czech native and has seen him play many times.
“He’s a very mobile, 6-3, [sic] two-way defenseman,” Fischer said. “He had a good coming out season last year. He was the best defenseman on a competitive team. He impressed the Czech national team coaches enough, they invited him to the pre-World Championship camp.
“In the past year-and-a-half, he’s made tremendous progress.”
Additionally, Red Wings general manager Ken Holland spoke positively of the young defenseman. Holland and Fischer both scouted Sulak at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
“We think there is something there to work with,” Holland said during an interview. “I think he has a chance to play for the Red Wings.”
Sulak will be present for the Red Wings annual prospects tournament in Traverse City, MI this summer. He’s still under contract with the Lahden Pelicans in Finland, with whom he’ll likely be playing with next season. He won’t be playing with Detroit’s AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins.