Former 2nd Rounder Wants Back Into NHL After Year Away

He was a second-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2016, but after bits of five seasons with the New York Rangers, things sort of came undone for Libor Hajek and he left to play in the Czech Republic League this past season.

Still just 26, Hajek is now itching to come back to North America, per hockey insider Elliotte Friedman on his 32 Thoughts podcast on Tuesday. "I have heard that he is looking to come back to the NHL."

A separated shoulder derailed Hajek's first season in the league, shortly after scoring his first NHL goal for the Rangers. In addition, New York having him on the roster but not playing him because he was waiver eligible, says Friedman, also hurt his progress. He played just 110 games across his five seasons with the Blueshirts organization.

"It was one of those things that just went sideways on him, and it didn't work out. Now, at 26, he wants to have another chance," added Friedman.

The left-shot defenseman also got in some time at the AHL over his five seasons with the Rangers, but he was never really able to hone his talents properly at the highest level.

With Pardubice HC in the Czech League this past year he recorded 9 points in 20 games along with an impressive +15 rating.  


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