Czech Republic: Romani ice hockey player Dominik Lakatoš is rookie of the year
Dominik Lakatoš, a talented ice hockey player for Liberec, has been designated rookie of the year by Czech Television's annual "Hockey Player of the Season" survey. Robert Záruba announced the news during half-time of the final match of the ice hockey championship between Liberec and Sparta on 14 April and the awards ceremony will take place on 2 May.
The survey included the votes of 27 commentators, experts and reporters for Czech Television and the results were very close. During the final round of voting, the experts chose from among three finalists.
Dominik Lakatoš and David Sklenička received 10 votes each for first place. The decision then fell to each player's average rankings and Lakatoš won, with Patrik Zdráhal coming in third.
"Dominik Lakatoš is the great hope of Czech hockey. He's strong, he skates well, and once he has more experience he will begin to score more goals and be far more productive. He's moving up in the team because his talent is unequivocal," said former Czech ice hockey player and expert for Czech Television David Pospíšil.
"We're glad he succeeded in winning, we really wanted him to," said Dominik's father Josef Lakatoš, who was interviewed by Czech Television together with Dominik's mother Jana. "It was his granddad's idea to get him into hockey. He's held a hockey stick since he was little and at the age of five we took him for his first lesson in Kolín and he's been great at it ever since."
At the age of 18, after standing out at the Junior World Championship, Dominik found a stable place on Liberec's strong team and succeeded in the playoffs. "I'm very proud to be able to represent the republic doing what I enjoy and what I hope I do well," he told news server Romea.cz during that competition.
Lakatoš is already beginning to think about the National Hockey League in the USA. Among European players he is ranked 89th in this year's draft .
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