By the time Martin Pospisil was 15 years old, he had left home to pursue his hockey dreams. And he hasn’t returned to his native Slovakia to play since, taking a route to what he hopes will be an NHL career that is certainly one less travelled.
Pospisil first headed to the Red Bull Akademie in Austria four years ago, where he skated with New York Islanders first-rounder Noah Dobson under the tutelage of former NHLer Brian Savage. From there it was on to the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL, where the center is embarking on his second season after being drafted in the fourth round by Calgary in June. “The first couple of months were hard, but it was a good place,” Pospisil said. “It was a huge academy, and it was a really good step up for me.”
Pospisil has committed to St. Lawrence University next season, but for now he’s back in Sioux City to develop his game. He followed older brother Kristian to Sioux City, where the latter played for a year before turning pro. We do know Pospisil is tough. He led the entire USHL in penalty minutes last season with 253 and still managed to put up 37 points in 49 games. At 6-foot-2 and 174 pounds, he has a lot of room to add muscle and strength. He also has ample room to grow his game. His skill level, as evidenced by his production last season, is high. Where Pospisil has to improve is in his skating. That’s clearly the biggest issue with him. What is definitely not an issue is his competitiveness. He’s known with the Musketeers as a valuable team player, someone who will come to the aid of a teammate in any situation, which explains the high number of penalty minutes.
Pospisil has worked hard during the off-season to continue to master English, something he has to do at a higher level than most other Europeans who come to North America, since he’s intent on playing U.S. college hockey next season. “I do a lot of tests back home in the summer,” he said.