Jaroslav Bednar

A skilled center with decent size (6'0", 200lbs), Jaroslav Bednar was a star at home in Prague, Czech Republic and also in the Finnish elite league. Yet he never found his comfort zone in North America.

An overage draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2001 (2nd round, 51st overall), the Kings had hoped Bednar could step into their line-up immediately after watching him dominate for two seasons in Finland.

Considered to be a comparable player to Martin Rucinsky, some scouts figured he would make an easy transition because he played more of a North American game than many older European players at that time. Though he never initiated much in terms of physical play, he was strong along the boards and did not shy away from the dirty areas. He was a sleek skater and possessed a deadly wrist-shot. However he really struggled with his consistency and defensive commitments in North America.

In the first season and a bit Bednar played a lot with the Kings farm team. He played a total of 37 games for the Kings, scoring 4 goals and 11 assists for 15 points.

On November 26, 2002, Bednář, along with Andreas Lilja was traded to the Florida Panthers for Dmitri Yushkevich. Over the next two seasons Bednar played 65 games for Florida, scoring 6 goals and 14 assists for 20 points. Overall, Bednář played 102 regular season games, scoring 10 goals and 25 assists for 35 points.

Bednar returned to Europe before that 2003-04 season was over, joining Omsk of what is now known as the KHL. He would enjoy a long career back home in the Czech Republic and in Switzerland.


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