Czech ice hockey star of Romani origin and NHL draft pick moves to new domestic team
Dominik Lakatoš, the 22-year-old ice hockey forward, is moving to Vítkovice after spending 10 years playing for Liberec in the junior leagues. The player, who is partially of Romani origin, was the champion of the Czech Extraliga in 2015 and its second-best player in 2017 and 2019.
In 2016, Lakatoš played for the Czech team at the junior championship and became the Extraliga's best rookie that year as well, followed by a ranking as the league's most productive junior player in 2017. That year he was drafted to the National Hockey League's New York Rangers.
"Altogether I've been here about 10 years. I have unforgettable memories of it, I basically grew up here. I got to know brilliant friends and people here whom I will probably know for the rest of my life. I can't even describe how grateful I am to the leadership, including Filip Pešán, who gave me the chance to play in the best league in our country," Lakatoš said in an interview for the Bílí Tygři Liberec team's website.
"Dominik has done an unreal amount of work for our club and he knows the club has also done a great deal for him. He helped us win the title and played two finals with us, for which he deserves great thanks. We're going our separate ways now because Dominik has to take the next step in his career. His performance last year in our colors was not optimal, so we agreed it is necessary for him to change his environment, become independent, and carry on his performance from previous years," Pešán said.
Lakatoš received offers from several clubs, but chose Vítkovice. "I picked Vítkovice, it seemed the best decision to me. Not only do I know Mr Petr, but also Honza Výtisk is there, I'm looking forward to him," he said.
"Under the current circumstances in our club, Dominik Lakatoš is the optimal choice for us. He's a young player who also has enough Extraliga experience from the most difficult championships there are to see. In addition, we personally experienced working with him on the junior representation," said Jakub Petr, the main trainer for Vítkovice, who led Lakatoš previously as a coach for the under-20 representation at the 2016 World Championship.
- Czech hockey fans taunt Romani player with racist abuse, owner of the team they support asks league to hand down punishment
- Romani ice hockey player drafted into the NHL for the New York Rangers
- Romani ice hockey player beats junior league record in Czech playoffs
- Romani hockey player Dominik Lakatoš: My Dad is my biggest hero
- Romani hockey player listed in Czech edition of Forbes "30 under 30"
- Czech Republic: Romani ice hockey player Dominik Lakatoš is rookie of the year
- Czech President Havel protested against the wall separating non-Roma from Roma on Matiční Street 20 years ago
- Pavel Botoš: Who will stop the use of terms like "cigoši" in the Czech Republic?
- Iveta Bílková: Czech society should not tolerate words like "Cigán", "Cigoši", etc.
- Roma are most frequently targeted by hatred on the Czech Internet, experts say the law applies online too
- Czech Govt report on the state of the Romani minority estimates 830 ghettos with 127 000 inhabitants in the regions
- Slovakia: Café Európa discusses underrepresentation of Romani people in politics
- Czech Ice Hockey Union fines club because its fans called Romani player a "gypsy", cites World Romani Congress
- Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová has breakfast with Romani students
- Czech ice hockey friendly goes uncompleted after fans racially abuse Romani player and his team stops play in protest
- VIDEO: Ostentatious homes built by Roma community in Romania reflect their desire for prestige
- Jozef Miker: Those who care about the homeless in the Czech Republic are bringing them food for free
- Slovak homeowner considers selling to Roma, so his neighbors graffiti his house and puncture his tires