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FUTURE WATCH
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Future Watch: Milan Kytnar

Rookie Baron Milan Kytnar recaps his first professional season in Oklahoma City

Thursday, 17.03.2011 / 2:20 PM / Future Watch
By Chris Wescott  - edmontonoilers.com
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Future Watch: Milan Kytnar
Milan Kytnar (Photo by Steven Christy / OKC Barons).

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Center Milan Kytnar is one of the Edmonton Oilers’ multiple rookie prospects staying in Oklahoma City with the Barons of the American Hockey League. He was selected in the fifth round (127th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry draft by the Oilers.

This is Kytnar’s first year in the professional ranks having previously spent time with Vancouver, Saskatoon and Kelowna in the Western Hockey League.

"It was a pretty good experience, especially for me, coming overseas," Kytnar said. "That style of hockey was a little different. As I said, it was a good experience and obviously a step forward if I want to be a pro hockey player."

Kytnar, a 6-0, 190-pound native of Topocalny, Slovakia says the biggest challenge coming overseas was the food-culture shock.

"It’s totally different. Culture… food. I think the food was the biggest adjustment for me. I had to get used to it, but now it is different. I’m cooking myself, my homemade meals so it’s better now."

What’s Kytnar’s favorite food since coming to Oklahoma? Believe it or not, it’s Sushi.

Through the first 65 games of Kytnar’s first professional season, the rookie has recorded 18 points (7-11-18). The young centerman believes there is a learning curve he needs to master since joining the AHL.

"So far I’ve just got to say that I’m earning my ice time and I’m still developing myself. It’s my first year coming from juniors to pro and it takes a little while. What I have to do is just, keep working on myself and try to become as good as I can be."

How good Kytnar can be is yet to be seen.

The young Slovakian is just 21 years old and flashed potential in his time spent in the Western Hockey League. His best season came during the 2008-2009 campaign in which he played in 65 games, scoring 27 goals and totaling 64 points (27-37-64).

Kytnar says he decided that he wanted a future in hockey right before getting drafted in 2007 and that working hard was the way to do it.

"It was before I came overseas. It was a year before I got drafted. I realized that it was what I wanted to do with my life. My dad was a big part of it and basically, I realized that if I want to make something of myself I have to start working on myself without anyone pushing me to do it. I think that was the main thing that really helped me to be where I am at this point."

Kytnar doesn’t model his play after anyone else. He says he’d rather be the role model.

"No. I’m trying to just play my game and be myself and try to be a role model for someone else."

This is Kytnar’s first stay in the United States. He has been taking it in stride, and says he enjoys educating the fans on the sport he loves.

"It’s different than Canada. In Canada, hockey is the number one sporting event. You can say that it’s not the same in Oklahoma City. People are now getting used to their hockey. They didn’t have a team here for a couple years. We’re new there. But I think people are really good with us and they come to our games and are interested in what is hockey like, and what it’s about. I think it’s a really good feeling when you get more and more people there every game."

The rookie played on a line with two other rookie prospects in Teemu Hartikainen and Philippe Cornet during parts of the season. Kytnar says he enjoyed playing between them but he has to bring his best game no matter who he plays with.

"Those are both really good players. It doesn’t really matter who you play with. You still have to bring your game and it should show on the ice."

The Barons control their own fate in a tight race to the playoffs. Kytnar says the ultimate goal is to go deep in the playoffs. But the team has to pull together to make it first.

"That’s the goal. We want to stay as long as we can. First thing we have to take care of is get to the playoffs. Now the rest of the season will be very crucial. The upcoming games in March, it’s a pretty tight schedule and it’s going to be challenging, it’s going to be tough. But we have to stay mentally tough and be ready for this." "

Author: Chris Wescott | Oklahoma City Barons

 
2010-11 OILERS PROSPECT STATS

Forwards
Name Age GP G A PTS +/- PIM Team
Cameron Abney   19 58 6 12 18 -5 67 Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
mark arcobello
22 14 5 3 8 E 0 OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS (AHL)
Alexander Bumagin   23 39 6 5 11 -9 24 Novokuznetsk (KHL)
Philippe Cornet   20 48 5 9 14 +4 6 Oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Drew Czerwonka   18 66 12 29 41 +8 76 kootenay ice (WHL)
Robby Dee   23 36 13 22 32 N/A 26 university of maine (h-east)
Jesse Gimblett * 26 43 13 9 22 +2 98 stockton thunder (echl)
Alexandre Giroux  *
29 63 29 38 67 -3 59 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Curtis Hamilton   19 60 25 55 80 +47 22 saskatoon blades (whl)
Teemu Hartikainen  *
20 66 17 25 42 -1 27 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Kellen Jones   20 38 8 14 22 N/A 33 quinnipiac university (ecac)
Milan Kytnar   21 66 7 11 18 E 29 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Anton Lander   19 49 11 15 26 -5 38 timra ik (sel)
Matt Marquardt   23 55 5 7 12 -7 18 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ryan Martindale   18 63 34 47 81 +35 24 ottawa 67's (ohl)
Colin McDonald   26 68 28 14 42 -4 53 Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)
Brad Moran   31 68 19 37 56 -1 30 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ryan O'Marra *
23 53 2 20 22 +9 49 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Linus Omark  *
24 26 14 17 31 +7 32 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ben Ondrus   28 68 5 12 17 -9 62 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Kristians Pelss   18 61 14 19 33 +14 29 edmonton oil kings (WHL)
Tyler Pitlick   19 56 27 35 62 +4 31 medicine hat tigets (whl)
Toni Rajala   19 44 9 13 22 -4 4 ilves tampere (fnl)
Liam Reddox *
24 37 18 15 33 +14 16 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Gregory Stewart   24 62 6 8 14 -8 92 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Chris Vande Velde   23 67 12 4 16 -17 45 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Defencemen
Name Age GP G A PTS +/- PIM Team
KEVIN MONTGOMERY
22 59 3 20 23 -1 40 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Jordan Bendfeld   22 28 1 3 4 -1 75 stockton thunder (echl)
Kyle Bigos   21 30 1 6 7 N/A 123 merrimack college (h-east)
Jeremie Blain   18 38 2 34 36 +15 44 acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)
Taylor Chorney *
23 46 3 13 16 E 22 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Brandon Davidson   19 70 8 43 51 -5 71 regina pats (whl)
Troy Hesketh   19 26 0 1 1 -11 32 sioux city musketeers (ushl)
Martin Marincin   18 65 13 40 53 -11 63 prince george cougars (whl)
Johan Motin   21 40 1 3 4 +8 37 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Richard Petiot
28 54 0 13 13 +8 40 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Jeff Petry *
23 41 7 17 24 -6 18 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Alex Plante
21 61 1 11 12 +6 114 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Goalies
Name Age GP W L T SO GAA PCT Team
Tyler Bunz   18 56 35 13 8 3 2.47 .919 medicine hat tigers (whl)
Jeff Deslauriers   26 26 11 11 3 0 3.12 .896 Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)
Martin Gerber
36 41 20 15 4 4 2.51 .914 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Bryan Pitton 
22 34 18 10 4 0 2.90 .901 stockton thunder (echl)
Olivier Roy   19 44 28 13 2 2 2.81 .910 acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)


Author: Chris Wescott | Oklahoma City Barons

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