Red Wings prospect Libor Sulak is playing for the Czech Republic (alongside fellow defenseman Filip Hronek) at the World Championship, and Julie Robenhymer, writing for DetroitRedWings.com, penned a profile of Sulak:
“There is nothing better than to represent on your national team. It is the top, the best,” Sulak said. “But after my season ended in Finland, I went to North America and I was injured and only played two games. So, I was happy to get the call and have the chance to play some more and continue to get better.”
Sulak made his first appearance on the Czech national team at last year’s world championship, playing in two games and earning an assist. Soon after, he signed a two-year entry level contract with the Detroit Red Wings.
This season, he left his home country for the first time to play in Finland for the Lahti Pelicans of the Finnish Elite League where the 24-year-old earned nine goals and 23 assists for 32 points in 42 games – good enough for top two in the league in points per game by a defenseman and top five in the league in ice time, all while leading his team in plus-minus.
When his season was over in Finland, Sulak joined the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins for their playoff run to gain some experience on the smaller ice in North America.
Due to a groin injury and then a puck to the mouth that required 16 stitches to repair, he only played two games, but earned an assist in each.
Jiri Fischer, the Red Wings’ director of player evaluation, is also the general manager of the Czech national team at the world championship. He said Sulak has had a tough season but is growing through the challenges.