Right winger Jakub Voracek was drafted seventh overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2007 and plays for the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL, where he has 50 points in 25 games. He is blogging exclusively for thehockeynews.com from his home nation while playing for the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championship.
I am in Pardubice, Czech Republic, right now, playing for the host country at the World Junior Championship.
After a very busy month playing for Halifax in the QMJHL, I arrived back home in early December. I had a couple days to rest and visit with my family and my girlfriend before training camp started.
Our camp was a lot about finding the style of the team. We don’t have one star player, so we have to play as a team - not just four or five guys. We also worked a lot on 2-on-1 and 3-on-2s.
My roommate for the tournament is Michael Frolik, a fellow Quebec Leaguer (Rimouski) who was drafted 10th overall by the Florida Panthers in 2006. We are playing on the same line here and we often talk about the North American game together.
In our first game of the tournament we were shut out by the Canadians, 3-0. I think we were the better team in the first half of the game, but the Canadians got very good goaltending from Jonathan Bernier and they beat us with a strong power play.
In our second game, we were the better team right from the start. We beat Denmark 5-2 and I had an assist.
Our next game is against our archrivals, Slovakia. It’s going to be a fun game and the crowd will be crazy - definitely a sell out. This game is very important to us because we need a win to get into the quarterfinals.
I don’t know much about how the Slovaks play, other than two other ‘Q’ players - Julius Sinkovic of Val d’Or and David Skokan of Rimouski - so we will have to be prepared for anything.
Pardubice is not a big city - maybe 100,000 people - but everyone here wants to see us in the semifinals and the medal round, so we must work as hard as we did against Canada in order to ensure success.