Future Watch: Milan Kytnar
Rookie Baron Milan Kytnar recaps his first professional season in Oklahoma City
Milan Kytnar (Photo by Steven Christy / OKC Barons).
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
|19||58||6||12||18||-5||67||Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)|
|22||14||5||3||8||E||0||OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS (AHL)|
|20||48||5||9||14||+4||6||Oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|18||66||12||29||41||+8||76||kootenay ice (WHL)|
|23||36||13||22||32||N/A||26||university of maine (h-east)|
|26||43||13||9||22||+2||98||stockton thunder (echl)|
|29||63||29||38||67||-3||59||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||60||25||55||80||+47||22||saskatoon blades (whl)|
|20||66||17||25||42||-1||27||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|20||38||8||14||22||N/A||33||quinnipiac university (ecac)|
|21||66||7||11||18||E||29||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||49||11||15||26||-5||38||timra ik (sel)|
|23||55||5||7||12||-7||18||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|18||63||34||47||81||+35||24||ottawa 67's (ohl)|
|26||68||28||14||42||-4||53||Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)|
|31||68||19||37||56||-1||30||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|23||53||2||20||22||+9||49||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|24||26||14||17||31||+7||32||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|28||68||5||12||17||-9||62||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|18||61||14||19||33||+14||29||edmonton oil kings (WHL)|
|19||56||27||35||62||+4||31||medicine hat tigets (whl)|
|19||44||9||13||22||-4||4||ilves tampere (fnl)|
|24||37||18||15||33||+14||16||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|24||62||6||8||14||-8||92||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|23||67||12||4||16||-17||45||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|22||59||3||20||23||-1||40||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|22||28||1||3||4||-1||75||stockton thunder (echl)|
|21||30||1||6||7||N/A||123||merrimack college (h-east)|
|18||38||2||34||36||+15||44||acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)|
|23||46||3||13||16||E||22||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|19||70||8||43||51||-5||71||regina pats (whl)|
|19||26||0||1||1||-11||32||sioux city musketeers (ushl)|
|18||65||13||40||53||-11||63||prince george cougars (whl)|
|21||40||1||3||4||+8||37||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|28||54||0||13||13||+8||40||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|23||41||7||17||24||-6||18||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|21||61||1||11||12||+6||114||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|18||56||35||13||8||3||2.47||.919||medicine hat tigers (whl)|
|26||26||11||11||3||0||3.12||.896||Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)|
|36||41||20||15||4||4||2.51||.914||oklahoma city barons (ahl)|
|22||34||18||10||4||0||2.90||.901||stockton thunder (echl)|
|19||44||28||13||2||2||2.81||.910||acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)|
Author: Chris Wescott | Oklahoma City Barons