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FUTURE WATCH
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FUTURE WATCH | Roman Horak

Since being traded to the Oilers, Roman Horak has been able to settle into the centre position and his focused on a return to the NHL

Wednesday, 20.11.2013 / 4:56 PM / Future Watch
By Chris Wescott  - edmontonoilers.com
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FUTURE WATCH | Roman Horak
Since being traded to the Oilers, Roman Horak has been able to settle into the centre position and his focused on a return to the NHL



Roman Horak
made a good first impression on the team that traded for him on November 8. In his first game as a member of the Edmonton Oilers organization, with the Oklahoma City Barons, Horak scored a goal in a 3-2 win over the San Antonio Rampage.

Before he was acquired by the Oilers in a trade, Horak was skating with the enemy. The 6-0, 180 pound centre was a member of the Oilers' intra-provincial rivals, the Calgary Flames. When he heard the news that he was being traded to Edmonton, it came as a surprise.

"If you look at the trade history, I think it's the second trade ever (between the two teams)," said Horak. "Obviously, that's something that you wouldn't expect. It's a like a fresh start for me and I'm happy to be here.

"I was obviously a little surprised. Then after awhile, I was happy. I was excited to be a part of Edmonton now. It's like a fresh start for me. Hopefully one day I can go up there and help the Edmonton Oilers team."

Horak was taking a nap when the news was breaking that he would no longer be a member of the Calgary Flames.

"My girlfriend came up to me and said my phone was going crazy. I checked my phone and saw a bunch of missed calls and I called (Flames General Manager) Jay Feaster and he told me the news. A bunch of phone calls followed. (Oilers General Manager) Craig MacTavish called me and I talked to him."

The Czech-born player was originally drafted in the fifth round, 127th overall, in 2009 by the New York Rangers. He is no stranger to the business of hockey, having been traded once already in his career. He is now hoping to settle in with the Oilers.

"From what I know, it's a great franchise. There's a lot of history and great fans and I'm really happy to be a part of it. I'm still trying to settle in and, obviously, meeting everyone. So far, so good."

The left-handed centre has immediately made an impact on Edmonton's farm club, scoring five points (1-4-5) in four games with OKC. Horak is grateful for the opportunity he has in the American Hockey League, but has his sights set higher.

"Every hockey player dreams to be in the NHL. When you actually get a chance to play a game up there, it's amazing and it doesn't come easy. That's for sure, and now I see it. I've been battling for three years and still haven't made it. It's hard to get there and actually stay there and establish yourself as a NHL player. It's a lot of work and hopefully, I get a chance here and can prove myself as a NHL player."

Roman Horak practices with the Flames last season. Photo courtesy of the Calgary Flames

Horak has seen his share of NHL duty for a 22 year old. In his rookie season with the Flames, he played in 61 games and scored 11 points (3-8-11). He saw 20 games last season and finished 2012-13 with seven (2-5-7) NHL points. So unlike some of the Oilers prospects in the minors, Horak knows what it takes to play the NHL game.

"I've been around for a bit and I see that it's tough to go up there and be a guy who can score 30 goals. What I think is, just be good defensively and to get more comfortable up there. With more ice time, you get better chances to produce. Like I said, just be good defensively and be a good two-way centre, be good on face-offs and take it from there."

While in the minors, Horak has developed into a player who can skate in all aspects of the game. Whether it is 5-on-5, power play or penalty kill, Horak says he's comfortable with playing every opportunity he gets. But there are some things that the young prospect needs to work on.

Last season, he was jostled around at multiple positions, playing both wings and centre. Now that he is with the Oilers organization, Horak has switched to full-time centre duty. The move will allow him to focus on growing into a better player.

"As a prospect, they put me back at centre now. Last year, I was between centre and wings and there were a lot of different positions. Now I want to become a good two-way centre and work on face-offs and d-zone and be, just overall, a good two-way centre and produce when I get the chance to."

Horak saw his best goal production of his professional career with the Abbotsford Heat in 2012-2013. In 59 games, the forward scored 16 goals and added 14 assists. He has offensive skill but the next step is to develop consistency with those talents.

"I would describe myself as a good playmaker with good vision, with good speed and decent hands. One day it'd be nice to go up there (to the NHL) and become a really good two-way centre and with ice time, you want to produce too."

When it comes to what the future holds from one of the newest Oilers prospects, fans can expect the following:

"When I get the chance to play, I'll bring a lot of energy and a lot of speed up there and from what I've seen so far, hockey is a tough game," said Horak. "You can't just be all cute and try to dangle around. You've got to be physical too. My weight is 180 pounds, so I am not the biggest guy. But, I want to get a chance and finish checks and be physical."


  Barons Player StatsAHL StandingsBarons Schedule | Past Prospect Stats: 2012-13 | 2011-12
Stats Updated as of Wednesday, November 20, 2013.

Oklahoma City (AHL)


Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM
BRANDON DAVIDSON   d 22 13 0 1 1 -8 14
BEN EAGER   F 29 10 1 0 1 -2 24
TRAVIS EWANYK   F 20 17 0 0 0 -4 17
TAYLOR FEDUN   d 25 15 1 5 6 -2 16
MARTIN GERNAT   d 20 7 0 3 3 -2 2
DENIS GREBESHKOV D 30 10 2 1 3 -1 4
curtis hamilton   f 21 - - - - - -
ryan hamilton   F 28 5 1 1 2 0 4
ROMAN HORAK F 22 4 1 4 5 0 2
brad hunt   D 25 11 0 4 4 1 4
ryan Jones   F 29 4 2 0 2 2 2
kale kessy   F 20 17 1 1 2 -4 18
oscar klefbom   d 20 13 0 1 1 -6 2
anton lander   F 22 12 3 5 8 -2 4
philip larsen   d 23 7 1 6 7 -4 4
MARTIN MARINCIN   D 21 15 1 3 4 0 2
Ryan Martindale   F 21 4 1 2 3 -3 0
andrew miller   F 25 16 2 6 8 -2 4
david musil   d 20 7 0 1 1 -1 4
linus omark   F 26 17 10 5 15 -8 10
TYLER PITLICK   F 21 7 1 2 3 0 2
COREY POTTER D 29 6 0 1 1 -5 4
Bakersfield (ECHL)


Name POS age    GP G A P +/- PIM
Cameron Abney   F 22 5 0 0 0 -2 23
MARTIN GERNAT D 20 3 0 1 1 -2 6
DAVID MUSIL D 20 3 1 0 1 -3 2
Canadian Hockey League
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
BEN BETKER   d 19 24 2 5 7 5 32 EVERETT SILVERTIPS (WHL)
GREG CHASE f 18 21 14 11 25 9 28 CALGARY HITMEN (WHL)
DARNELL NURSE D 18 21 7 16 23 4 45 SAULT STE. MARIE (OHL)
JACKSON HOUCK   F 18 25 11 7 18 -8 26 VANCOUVER GIANTS (WHL)
JUJHAR KHAIRA   f 19 13 3 5 8   0 24 EVERETT SILVERTIPS (WHL)
MITCH MOROZ   F 19 23 15 8 23 11 70 EDMONTON OIL KINGS (WHL)
KYLE PLATZER   F 18 22 7 6 13 0 12 LONDON KNIGHTS (OHL)
MARCO ROY   F 18 8 2 11 13    2 8 BLAINVILL (QMJHL)
NCAA & USHL
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
EVAN CAMPBELL   f 20 7 0 0 0 N/A 6 UMASS-LOWELL
KELLEN JONES   F 23 13 4 10 14 N/A 19 quinnipiac
JOEY LALEGGIA  d 21 12 6 5 11 n/a 20 DENVER
JOHN MCCARRON   f 21 8 3 9 12 n/a 14 CORNELL
AIDAN MUIR   F 18 13 4 5 9 4 24 INDIANA (USHL)
DILLON SIMPSON   D 20 10 1 5 6 n/a 2 NORTH DAKOTA
Europe
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
ERIK GUSTAFSSON   D 21 22 0 6 6 5 10 frolunda (sweden)
TEEMU HARTIKAINEN   f 23 27 9 10 19 -1 14 UFA (RUSSIA)
ANTON SLEPYSHEV  F 19 17 2 1 3 2 0 UFA (RUSSIA)
ANTTI TYRVAINEN   F 24 21 4 4 8 1 49 JOKERIT HELSINKI (FINLAND)
BOGDAN YAKIMOV  F 19 26 5 5 10 2 0 Nizhnekamsk (russia)
DANIIL ZHARKOV  F 19 26 3 0 3 0 4 NIZHNY NOVGOROD (RUSSIA)
2013 World Junior Hockey Championships
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
TBD                   
Goaltenders
Name age GP w l T GAA SV% team
RICHARD BACHMAN   26 8 3 4 1 2.40 .925 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
LAURENT BROSSOIT 20 1 - - - 3.61 .833 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
TYLER BUNZ   21 3 0 1 1 3.38 .893 BAKERSFIELD (ECHL)
TYLER BUNZ 21 4 1 1 1 3.15 .914 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
Frans Tuohimaa   22 N/A n/a n/a n/a 2.01 .927 HPK HAMEENLINNA (FINLAND)

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