Roman Polak Heads Home
The Olympic road has ended for Roman Polak as his Czech Republic side lost to Finland 2-0 last night. The young member of our St. Louis Blues side has no reason to hang his head following the loss, as he performed very well throughout the 2010 Olympics. The 23-year-old Polak is skating in his fourth year with the Blues, but really only his second full season and has already established himself as arguably the best defender on the team.
Polak is the first Blue to be eliminated from the Olympic competition, and leaves Erik Johnson and David Backes of Team USA as the lone representatives. Polak does not receive the same attention that former #1 overall pick Erik Johnson does, but all you need to do is stop and look at his profile to appreciate how far the defender has come.
Drafted in the 6th round (18oth overall) of the 2004 Draft, Polak was mostly overlooked behind the team’s first pick Marek Schwarz. Some fans are probably asking, “Who?” It’s a fair question. The Blues picks in the 2004 draft lead to many unfamiliar names aside from Polak. Schwarz for instance is also from the Czech Republic, but unfortunately has not enjoyed the same success that Polak has. Schwarz has only played 110 minutes at the NHL level and it appears unlikely he will make a name for himself at the NHL level anytime soon.
Polak on the other hand overcame his late selection and now is a well known name on the Blues’ roster. Polak’s road was a long one that sent him around the Western Hockey League, before returning back to the Czech Republic to skate in the Czech Extraliga.
He then came back to North America and made his debut with the Blues in the 2006-07 season where he skated in 19 games. Following a 2007-08 that saw him appear in just 6 contests, the defender finally broke through last year and has been a stable, reliable defender since.
Roman returns back to St. Louis and now must prepare to take on the Coyotes on March 2nd. There’s been a lot of trade talk and speculation as to what the Blues might do approaching the deadline, but one name that hasn’t come up is Polak’s, who could be the core of the St. Louis defense for years to come.