International Ice Hockey Federation

Slovakia’s tower

Slovakia’s tower

D-man Fehervary the hope of U18 Worlds host

Published 11.04.2017 18:30 GMT+2 | Author Juraj Hudak
Slovakia’s tower
Martin Fehervary is ready to play his second U18 World Championship. Photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
As Slovakia will host the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship in two days, big hope is put on Maritn Fehervary, who should be a pillar of their defence.

The young defender is playing his third season in Sweden, appearing in couple of games in senior team of Malmo. The Bratislava-born defenceman has come to the north of Europe four years ago.

“My arrival to Sweden went so fast. I used to play for Ruzinov Bratislava at that time and I didn´t think about leaving at all. My agent got me a chance to have a try-out in the Sweden. First I came to MODO, but in that time they had a camp for the guys being one year older. After that I went to the Malmo and we made a deal immediately. The next season I started playing there.”

Fehervary made uncommon steps to make his dream to become a professional ice hockey player come true. After he started playing for Slovan Bratislava, he moved to an amateur team called Mlade Sviste (Young Marmots). “The main reason was the school. I can't remember what it was all about, but I knew, we had a practice in the mornings and after that we could go to school. Our training sessions on ice were inside of shopping centre in Bratislava. As we didn´t have younger teams as proper ice hockey club, we had to join Czech team in Vyskov and next season with Hodonin. Both were very close to Bratislava so it wasn't hard to move there and play some games. I think, this helped all of us a lot in that time.”

His next step moving to Sweden looked like a very good decision due to development of his career. While in his second season, Malmo gave him a chance to play with senior team four times, this season he played nine games in the Swedish Hockey League.

“I am getting a big experience here, no doubt about that. I think in the first team we have four guys who played in NHL. It's so great to play with them for me. It's an honour to be in the team with players having that much experience. I work as hard as I can so I can move forward and take another step in my career.”

His performance in the club attracted the coaches of the Slovak junior team and Martin Fehervary made his first mark with the U20 team at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship in Canada, but the team finished in the quarter-finals where they were beaten by Sweden. After this game, the young defender was announced as one of the best three players of the team at the tournament.

“I didn't expected that at all. I came to the tournament to play my best and a show perfect performance. I didn't expect to be announced as one of the best player of the team. On the other hand it was very nice and I am glad that I made it. It wasn't the first time when I was playing against the teams like USA or Russia, but this tournament was a lot faster than the ones I played at before. Especially the first game against Canada was crazy. The stadium was packed, but after that all games came as normal.”

Now Fehervary is looking up to another event. The 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship will be very special for him because it is in his home country. He will be one of the players who will take a main responsibility on the ice. “I think I am ready for that. In our youth national teams we know each other, so everyone knows where his place is on the team. I will try to do my best. Hopefully, there will be a lot fans to cheer for us. We talk about this tournament with other guys from the team during the whole year and we can't wait to step on the ice in front of our fans. My family is coming over to see me too, so it would be great moment. I know there will be pressure, but I believe this team can take it. We beat the USA last year and were tied with Canada. I think we can make a good result this year.”

The U18 World Championship is going to be attended by a lot of scouts from the NHL. For players like him this is of a huge importance because they know that moment could decide their future hockey career.

“Of course this is one of the things that will put a pressure on you. If we play as a team and don’t look at the scouts, we can make a very good result. Everyone knows that the good team performance will have a positive impact on every player´s individual performance,” said Fehervary, who is one of the Slovaks who could be drafted early, but in his case in 2018.

His biggest dream is no different from the other hockey players. “I want to win the Stanley Cup. I want to bring it to my hometown Bratislava and the little village nearby, Trnava to Jarna. I promised that to my grandparents and my mom is coming from there. And what I can say about the draft. It's still one year to wait for me, but I don't have a favourite team. I like Chicago because they have three Slovak players and I also like Montreal. To be honest I am watching all NHL teams. My goal is to just play in NHL and win the Stanley Cup.”


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