The Red Wings continue to be acknowledged by the international hockey community today. Hours after Pavel Datsyuk was named to Russia’s World Cup of Hockey roster, the Czech Republic named Petr Mrazek to theirs.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 2, 2016
Mrazek is the opposite of Datsyuk in the sense that he has an illustrious international history at the youth level, but is still very green at the Men’s level. The native of Ostrava, Czech Republic got to wear the National jersey for the first time in 2008 as a member of the Under 16 team and proceeded to play at the U17 (2009), U18 (2009, 2010), and U20 (2012) levels over the next few years. Mrazek was named best goaltender of the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championships.
Mrazek played in a single game in the 2012 World Hockey Championships to make his Men’s debut, stopping every shot he faced in relief. Mrazek was the third-string goaltender behind Jakub Kovar and Jakub Stepanek.
From the looks of it, Mrazek will be the starting goalie for the Czech’s going into the late-summer tournament. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, seeing as he’s been lights out for at both the AHL and NHL levels since his last international opportunity. This year, Mrazek has grown into one of the NHL’s top goaltenders posting a 0.927 save percentage through 43 games.
Certainly, this appointment won’t stop the comparison’s to former Red Wing and goaltending legend Dominik Hasek, who coincidentally sat out of both prior World Cups due to ailments. This year’s tournament begins on September 17th and will end on October 1st. All games will be played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.