Dominik Lakatoš has taken the next step toward appearing in the most famous ice hockey competition in the world, the National Hockey League (NHL). During the sixth round of this year’s draft he was chosen by the famous New York Rangers.
Overall he was the 157th player chosen and the seventh from the Czech Republic. Lakatoš could become the first Romani ice hockey player in history to join the NHL.
The player from Liberec, where he competes for the local White Tigers team (Bílé Tygry), began his Czech Extraliga debut in the 2014/15 season play-offs. In the following season became an anchor for the team, winning the championship and becoming the best rookie of the Czech Extraliga.
On the international scene he drew attention primarily during the 2015/16 season, when he wore the representative uniform at the world championship for ice hockey players under 20. The 2016/17 season was unpleasant for him due to an unfortunately-timed injury.
During the test match for the world championship in Canada he broke his collarbone. He missed part of the season but returned in excellent form and was one of the leaders of the team during the play-off, making it to the finals.
Lakatoš set a record for the highest number of points scored by a junior player in this year’s Czech ice hockey play-off. “There’s nothing left to do but wish this young forward will one day actually wear the uniform of one of the clubs competing in the most prestigious ice hockey competition in the world. At a minimum, for the next few years, the New York Rangers have potentially assured themselves of that privilege through the draft pick,” the Liberec club posted to their website.
The number one draft pick for the NHL, which includes teams from Canada and the United States, was the Swiss ice hockey center Nico Hischier, who played last season overseas in the junior Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in Halifax. New Jersey has drafted him.
Canadian forward Nolan Patrick, who played for the Brandon World Hockey League, was the number two draft pick, chosen by Philadelphia. The NHL draft is an annual meeting by the franchise managers who choose the rights to hire eligible ice hockey players.
The draft usually takes place two or three months before the beginning of the next season. The teams alternate in choosing amateur players from the European, junior, and university ice hockey leagues.