Nanaimoites got their first look at the Slovakian World Junior hockey team this week.
Team Slovakia held its first practice in Nanaimo at Frank Crane Arena on Sunday, Dec. 16.
The Slovaks are in Nanaimo preparing for the IIHF World Junior Championships, which are being held in Vancouver and Victoria starting Dec. 26. Slovakia will also play a pre-tournament game against the Czech Republic tomorrow, Dec. 19, at Frank Crane Arena.
Monday’s practice saw 39 skaters and five goalies on the ice for Slovakia, including 17-year-old forward, Maxim Cajkovic, who plays for the Saint John Sea Dogs in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Cajkovic was drafted first overall by the Sea Dogs in the Canadian Hockey League’s import draft this year and is expected to be a high draft pick in the 2019 NHL entry draft.
Slovakia will hold daily practices in Nanaimo until Dec. 20, with their practice locations alternating between Frank Crane Arena and Cliff McNabb.
Good evening! Team Slovakia is holding a practice at Frank Crane Arena this evening in preparation for their #WorldJuniors pre-tournament game against the Czechs later this week in Nanaimo. pic.twitter.com/5QbF0Zu5j4— Nicholas M Pescod (@npescod) December 18, 2018