Building the Herd – Jan Jarabek

#?? Jan Jarabek

Position: Defence

Born: Trenčín, Trenčiansky okres, Slovensko

Announced as signed: Bison website, 27th September

With the non-return of Miroslav Vantroba and the Jakub Barton experiment having come to a quick end, Bison head coach Doug Sheppard has moved to address the Herd’s poor early season form and blueline corps by signing Slovakian defenceman, Jan Jarabek.

27 year old Jarabek came through the junior system with his home town club Dukla Trencin and progressed through the under 18 and under 20 sides before a very busy couple of seasons between 2007 and 2009 where he played over 100 games with 91 points for the Dukla under 20s whilst making his Extraliga debut for Trencin and playing in the 1.Liga for Dukla Senica.

The remainder of Jarabek’s time in Slovakia followed a very familiar path as he spent time in the Extraliga with Trencin whilst being loaned out to Prievidza and Povazka Bystrica. When Jarabek’s time playing hockey in his homeland, his senior stats across the leagues tallied 154 regular season games with 37 points and 17 playoff games with 1 assist.

To start the 2011/12 season, Jarabek left his homeland and headed to Hungary to play for Miskolci Jegesmedve. After a 4th placed finish in the regular season, Jarabek and his Jegesmedve team mates made a run to the finals of the joint Hungarian/Romanian league where they were beaten by Hungarian giants Dunaújváros. Jarabek finished the season with an impressive 29 points from 32 regular season games.

From Hungary, Jarabek moved north to the Copenhagen suburb of Rødovre to play for the Mighty Bulls playing 27 games in the Metalligaen before heading to Sweden to finish the 2012/13 season with Borås HC in the Swedish 3rd tier.

For 2013/14 Jarabek moved on again, this time to Germany where he had a very productive year with Hannover Scorpions as he added 51 assists in 29 games in the Oberliga Nord.

For the last 2 seasons, Jarabek has been part of Gornyak Rudny in the Kazakh league (or as Hull called it, the KHL) playing 97 games across the two seasons and scoring 37 points in that time and earning himself a bronze medal for the 2014/15 season.

We are not going to focus too much on Jakub Barton’s performances right here because whilst this concerns him to a point, we will look exclusively at him later this week. However his replacement seems to be of a slightly different ilk to the last two import defenceman.

Even though Barton was only with the Bison for a short period, the last 2 import defencemen in Bison colours have been a bit more advanced in years but have mainly played for clubs in Slovakia or the Czech Republic. Whilst Barton put up few points, the intention was that he was similar to Miro Vantroba and would do so.

Jan Jarabek clearly has the ability to put up the points and is a Slovak but is that little bit younger and has a bit more experience of other leagues. He’s actually played for some very good teams. As we saw, he made the finals of the MOL Liga. He was part of the first Hannover Scorpions team post their DEL exit that came top of the Oberliga Nord in the regular season. The Kazakh league is a bit of a melting pot but to get a 3rd place is impressive none the less.

Above is the one video that I found that had appropriate music on it but if you hunt about there’s a couple of Jarabek. Combined with the research if you hunt around, the Bison seen to be getting the sort of defenceman that they were looking for; a defenceman with a big shot from the point who will join the rush when needed. What there’s not a lot of footage of is him on defence but you’d hope given that he’s played in a few places that he’d be alright at that bit.

Ultimately, just like with Barton, this is a calculated gamble but right now it seems that it’s a gamble that the Bison need to take.

Welcome to Basingstoke, Jan.

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