World Juniors 2024

Meet the Team: Slovakia's roster for the 2024 World Juniors

Slovakia will be highly motivated to do damage at this tournament after coming so close to making it to the medal round last year in Halifax, losing an overtime thriller to the Canadians that ended their Cinderella run.

They'll do so with a team that brings quality at the top of the lineup and good depth behind it. They have as many drafted players as we've seen in some time, especially upfront, and a star in goal. Slovakia just might be a threat to medal.

Let's look at their roster and how they'll line up.

The Roster

This is how I expect Slovakia will fill out its depth chart at the tournament.

The strength of this team is its forward corps. Even with Juraj Slafkovský finding himself in the NHL with the Montréal Canadiens, they have as many drafted forwards in this lineup as I can remember them ever having.

Their go-to guy will be Dalibor Dvorský. He'll be the anchor of Slovakia's first line with his two-way game and a deadly shot, with Alex Čiernik and Martin Mišiak on his flanks. They have the speed and skill to keep up with Dvorský and form a formidable trio.

Samuel Honzek will be the anchor of their second line. He's a giant with great reach and a knack for winning loose pucks along with great vision and hands. He'll have the speedy, supremely skilled Filip Mešár on his wing, along with Peter Repcik.

The bottom-six brings a lot of interchangeable skill sets and enough talent for many of these pieces to be moved anywhere in the lineup. Adam Sýkora's physicality will make him a force on the forechecking and a retrieval machine; Servác Petrovský is a cunning shooter; Adam Zlnka is a great puck-transporter. That's a third line that can make a difference.

The fourth line with Juraj Pekarčík could be a sneaky shooter who can be supported by the intelligent Alex Šotek and the fearless František Dej. That's almost as good a fourth-line as any in the tournament.

Unfortunately, Simon Nemec's callup to the New Jersey Devils lineup means we won't see him at this tournament, and that could be a problem for the Slovaks.

Maxim Štrbák will be their No. 1 defenceman; he's a versatile blueliner who can handle any assignment. Luka Radivojevic is a rising star in Slovak hockey who will be available to NHL teams at the 2025 NHL Draft, and this is an opportunity for him to show off his mobility and creativity with the puck.

Viliam Kmec, Dávid Nátny, and Milan Pišoja will serve as the defensive stalwarts of the team, tasked with keeping opponents honest. And Richard Baran should be active in all three zones with some offensive touch. No surprise here: Adam Gajan is the No. 1 goalie.


Dalibor Dvorský, C/RW, Sudbury Wolves (OHL)

St. Louis Blues, 2023 NHL Draft, first round, 10th overall

Dalibor Dvorský's combination of cunning and a powerful, accurate shot will make him a threat every time he steps onto the ice. He can beat a goalie cleanly with a whole host of different releases, whether it's the one-touch shot, wrist shot, slap shot – you name it. He's also a strong two-way presence. The last time he suited up for Slovakia at the U18s, he was a star. They'll need that from him again.

Samuel Honzek, LW/C, Vancouver Giants (WHL)

Calgary Flames, 2023 NHL Draft, first round, 16th overall

The 6-foot-4 Samuel Honzek is a giant on the ice who commands attention from opposing defenders. He's a three-zone player too, equally effective in space, playing defence, or on the attack. He's especially imposing along the boards though, able to win pucks and shield possession away from opponents with ease. He's also surprisingly quick for his size. While not flashy, his hands and vision are more than sufficient, complemented by a potent wrist shot that adds a scoring dimension to his game.

Filip Mešár, RW, Kitchener Rangers (OHL)

Montréal Canadiens, 2022 NHL Draft, first round, 26th overall

Filip Mešár has found his game again in the OHL and is expected to be a real offensive driver for this Slovak team. He's at his best as a playmaker, skillfully combining the ability to evade opponents and passing skill to set up his linemates with Grade-A scoring chances. He's especially slippery as a puck carrier through the neutral zone. This is someone who could have some highlight reel moments at this tournament.

Alex Čiernik, Västerviks IK (HockeyAllsvenskan)

Philadelphia Flyers, 2023 NHL Draft, fourth round, 120th overall

Alex Čiernik has been playing in Sweden for five years now, so he should be comfortable playing at the Frölundaborg in Gothenburg. He's on pace for the most productive HockeyAllsvenskan season of his career to date, too. He's an agile, quick skater, able to skate past opponents and mix in the odd dangle, too. He's an interior-driven playmaker, but his shot is a legitimate scoring weapon too.

Martin Mišiak, RW, Erie Otters (OHL)

Chicago Blackhawks, 2023 NHL Draft, second round, 55th overall

Martin Mišiak is a player who is equally skilled at center and on the wing. He's an intense player and an unrelenting competitor. This profile works with his high-end skating stride, allowing him to disrupt plays on a shift-to-shift basis. With the puck on his stick, he can do a lot of damage as a shooter too, though he's legitimately skillful as a passer.

Peter Repčík, C/W,  Drummondville Voltigeurs

2024 NHL Draft (re-entry)

Peter Repčik is on an absolute tear in the QMJHL, setting a new career-high in points some time ago. A discernible intelligence and awareness define his play across all three zones, elevating him beyond the mere amalgamation of individual skills. Notably, his strategic positioning stands out as a significant asset, contributing substantially to his overall effectiveness on the ice.

Adam Sýkora, LW/C, Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL)

New York Rangers, 2022 NHL Draft, second round, 63rd overall

Adam Sýkora is playing his first full season in the AHL and Slovakia is certainly excited to have him as part of the forward line for the World Championships in Sweden. Sýkora seamlessly blends robust skating with adept puck-handling skills, making him a force on retrievals. His ability in transition is noteworthy, as he adeptly identifies open spaces and lanes, always finding a way to gain the offensive zone. He's not really a skill player first and foremost, but he's got good enough hands, plays an intelligent give-and-go game, and can make a play as a passer. He'll be a huge part of this team.

Servác Petrovský, C/RW, Owen Sound Attack (OHL)

Minnesota Wild, 2022 NHL Draft, sixth round, 185th overall

Though he plays in Czechia, Servác Petrovský is a native Slovak and he'll wear his country's colours with pride at this year's World Juniors. He's a goalscorer by trade, mostly cunning as an off-puck threat but willing to drive the net-front for rebounds and quality looks. Beyond his scoring instinct, Petrovský's playmaking ability shines through from time to time. He's also a sneakily good handler, too. He's just got a really well-rounded offensive toolkit, and he should be an impact player at the tournament. 

Adam Žlnka, W/C, Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)

Arizona Coyotes, 2022 NHL Draft, seventh round, 204th overall

Adam Zlnka is a versatile two-way winger, capable of doing damage with the puck on his stick in space. He's got a decent skating stride, a formidable wrist shot, and can make a play with his linemates. He's also played his best hockey internationally. He could be an X-Factor at the bottom of Slovakia's lineup.

Juraj Pekarčík, LW/C, Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)

St. Louis Blues, 2023 NHL Draft, third round, 76th overall

Juraj Pekarcik could be a key player for Slovakia. His skating is the defining dimension of his game, allowing him to close fast on puck carriers and transport the puck up ice with ease. He's not the most skilled player, but he can distribute the puck well enough. Always on the move and surveying the ice for opportunities, he effortlessly manoeuvres through defences, executes plays under pressure, and seamlessly adapts to the dynamic situation around him.

František Dej, C, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL)

2024 NHL Draft (re-entry)

František Dej, an imposing two-way centre, can make some plays with the puck that will surprise you, but his main calling card is defensive responsibility. He'll play a depth role for the Slovaks, and he's usually fared well doing that for his country at tournaments.

Alex Šotek, LW/RW, HK Poprad (Extraliga)

2024 NHL Draft (re-entry)

Alex Šotek's game is all about an above-average skating stride and high-end intelligence. He's always finding a way to get right in the thick of the action, never shying from contact or hardly fought for ice. He's going to be a depth player for the Slovaks, a role that he's perfectly suited to.

Roman Kukumberg, LW, Sarnia Sting (OHL)

2024 NHL Draft (re-entry)

Roman Kukumberg is a fearless player, never shying from contact or the corners when trying to win a loose puck. He's a force on retrievals. He's not a total writeoff with the puck either. He's got intelligence off the puck, often sneaking into soft ice for scoring chances. He'll flourish in a depth role.


Maxim Štrbák, D, Michigan State University (NCAA)

Buffalo Sabres, 2023 NHL Draft, second round, 45th overall

A sizable and versatile defenseman, Maxim Štrbák brings durability and a physical edge to his game. He's at his best as a defensive defenceman, clearing the net-front and winning puck battles along the boards. He's got a great defensive stick, too. He'll be leaned on as the No. 1 defenceman for Slovakia at this tournament.

Luka Radivojevič, D, Örebro HK J20 (J20 Nationell)

2025 NHL Draft

Luka Radivojevič made his debut in the SHL in November. At the age of 16 years, 10 months and 13 days, he was the second-youngest Slovak in SHL history. Slovak rising star in Slovak hockey — a commanding presence with a remarkable offensive mindset. He not only has pro size, but also flashes innate creativity with the puck on his stick. A skilled and agile skater, this defender seamlessly manoeuvres across the rink, demonstrating both finesse and power. With a potent blend of offensive ability, creativity, and skating finesse, this emerging talent is poised to make a significant impact on the game.

Richard Baran, D, Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL)

2024 NHL Draft (re-entry)

Richard Baran is characterized by his impressive mobility on the ice, showcasing a smooth and fluid skating style. His transition play is a notable strength, demonstrating solidity and effectiveness as he moves seamlessly between the offensive and defensive phases of the game.

Viliam Kmec, D, Prince George Cougars (WHL)

2024 NHL Draft (re-entry)

A robust defensive defenseman, Viliam Kmec boasts an imposing size and strength, wielding a powerful right-handed shot. He's decently mobile, can occasionally flash some skill with the puck, and is a fearless battler. He's an absolute force at the net-front who will make opponents lives miserable.

Milan Pišoja, D, HK Dukla Michalovce (Extraliga)

2024 NHL Draft (re-entry)

Milan Pišoja is another defensively-minded player, consistently reliable in his role. When in possession of the puck, he avoids unnecessary risks by opting for quick decisions, showing a tendency to direct shots towards the net without hesitation. Notably, he has exhibited substantial improvement throughout the course of the year, indicating a commendable commitment to enhancing his skills.

Dávid Nátny, D, HK 32 Liptovsky Mikulas (Extraliga)

2024 NHL Draft (re-entry)

Dávid Nátny is a dependable and responsible defender, consistently keeping it simple and keeping opponents honest when he's on the ice. His defensive acumen is a standout feature, as he demonstrates a keen sense of responsibility in maintaining a secure presence on the back end. Nátny can be relied upon to make sound decisions under pressure, contributing to the overall stability of the defensive unit.


Adam Gajan, G, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)

Chicago Blackhawks, 2023 NHL Draft, second round, 35th overall

Adam Gajan will be the No. 1 goalie for Slovakia in this tournament. He's got great size at 6-foot-3 and pairs it with high-end athleticism to make for a compelling package in goal. His ability to move swiftly from side to side is super impressive, enabling him to cover a significant portion of the net in an instant. Gajan's impeccable skating and agile movement ensure that he is always a factor in the play, never being caught out of position.

Rastislav Eliaš, G, HIFK U20 (U20 SM-sarja)

2024 NHL Draft (re-entry)

Standing at an impressive 6-foot-3, Rastislav Elias possesses good size and exhibits smooth movements within the blue paint. A key strength in his game lies in his strategic positioning; he actively challenges shooters, leaving them minimal room for initial shots as he confidently steps out to meet them.

Samuel Urban, G, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)

2024 NHL Draft (re-entry)

The Sioux City Musketeers goaltender is not having a great season, as he has a 3.43 GAA and .881 save percentage in 16 games in the USHL. Samuel Urban excels at making crucial initial saves, a standout aspect of his game. While his glove skills are decent, Urban's overall description is best captured as a highly athletic goaltender.

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Meet the Team: USA's roster for the 2024 World Juniors
Meet the Team: USA's roster for the 2024 World Juniors
This article is about:
World Juniors 2024 Slovakia U20 WJC-20 Richard Baran Alex Ciernik Peter Cisar Frantisek Dej Dalibor Dvorský Rastislav Elias Adam Gajan Samuel Honzek Viliam Kmec Roman Kukumberg Filip Mesar Martin Misiak Marian Mosko Dávid Nátny Juraj Pekarcik Servác Petrovský Luka Radivojevic Peter Repcik Alex Sotek Maxim Strbak Markus Suchý Adam Sýkora Samuel Urban Boris Zabka Adam Zlnka
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