Future Watch: Libor Hajek Rookie Hockey Cards, Rangers – Libor Hajek was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning with the 37th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. Always looked at as a talented defenseman, the young blueliner could never have guessed how the start of his pro career would turn out.
Always a staple of Czech national teams he won a bronze and a silver in 2014-15 and that helped get his name out there. In 2015-16, he joined Kamloops in the WHL and in his first season he had 26 points in 65 games.
Post-draft, he started the season in Kamloops wearing the “A” and he ended it with the Regina Pats. He had 12 goals and 39 points in 58 games combined besides one point in four playoff games.
In the 2017-18 U20 World Junior Championship, he had eight points in seven games. He had the most assists by a defenseman (7) and points in the tournament.
Shortly after this tournament, he was included in a trade to the New York Rangers. He was one of the centerpieces of the Ryan McDonagh deal.
Last season he played 58 games in Hartford and five with the big club. He was learning the North American game and was playing a safe form of defense, so the offense he does possess didn’t get to shine.
Here’s a look at his first NHL goal:
Future Watch: Libor Hajek Rookie Hockey Cards, Rangers – Stats
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For more from Russ Cohen, follow him on Twitter @sportsology.
Russ Cohen is the author of several top-selling sports related books.
Baseball’s Best Rookies
Numbers Don’t Lie: Mets: The Biggest Numbers in Mets History
100 Ranger Greats: Superstars, Unsung Heroes and Colorful Characters
100 Things Rangers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die
“Strike Three!” – A Player’s Journey through the Infamous Baseball Strike of 1994
The Winter Classic: The NHL’s Savior
The Philadelphia Flyers: Images of Sports
Pioneers of Baseball
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