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“It’s thought-provoking where we Hungarians stand in this hockey system,” says the defender invited to the NHL team’s training camp.

“It’s thought-provoking where we Hungarians stand in this hockey system,” says the defender invited to the NHL team’s training camp.

Zsombor Jarat considers it a great experience to be invited to the training camp of the New York Islanders, who are interested in the North American Professional Hockey League (NHL), which began on Thursday.

The 26-year-old national team defender who played 93 times told MTI after the first official camp day that a few weeks ago he did not think he would get such an opportunity.

“It’s no secret, the main reason I traveled to the US in August was because my wife (Jarat Gasparics) Fanny believed in continuing abroad, and we wanted to be as close to each other as possible. That’s also why I didn’t start working at Budapest JA, but I was thinking more about “My reality is in the American third division, the ECHL. Plus, it was a good letter of recommendation that I played for the Hungarian national team in the Elite World Championship in May, and I didn’t even have to take a tryout match with the Worcester Railers in the ECHL.” – said Jarratt, who played in the youth teams in this region between 2014 and 2017.

He added: However, due to visa issues, the ECHL club – a subsidiary of the New York Islanders – was not able to help with the stay longer in time, but Railers head coach, Jordan Smotherman, believes that the NHL team in such situations More knowledgeable.

“That’s why he threw my name to the Islanders, because there was a free spot here among the defensemen at the NHL training camp. They watched several videos about me for two days, and I don’t know how they got to me, but they finally told me on Sunday that I could come to camp. “The team dinner was on Wednesday, we passed the tests, and on Thursday there were already on-ice training sessions.” Garratt told the Telegraph Office.

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He pointed out that the invitees, 38 attackers, 21 defenders and seven goalkeepers, were divided into three groups. In the first, established NHLers and potential team players are placed, in the second are mainly players of the Second League (AHL), and in the third – just like it – others.

At the same time, they also interact and meet big stars. For example, Gará was able to have a long conversation with World Series silver medalist and two-time All-Star Mathew Barzal — who was named the NHL’s Rookie of the Year in 2018. He told him they could even use him in practice games. The New York team will play six preparatory matches until October 14.

“It’s thought-provoking where we Hungarians stand in this hockey system. The Islanders alone have 60-65 exciting players, and there are 32 teams at the NHL level. In addition, there are also people in Europe who would like to take their place here. So we are just looking To the number of excellent hockey players around the world and where we are. I wouldn’t say it frustrates you, but it definitely makes you think. My example is also a small step. We need these, and we have to push for more and more small steps like this, and yet “So, over time, someone will be able to get a foothold here. We have to work incredibly hard.” Jarrat said.

He is the fourth Hungarian hockey player – and the first Hungarian defenseman – to participate in an NHL camp. Previously, goaltender Szober Levente (Dallas Stars, Calgary Flames, St. Louis Blues), forward Janos Vaas (Dallas Stars) and fellow goaltender Adam Vai (Minnesota Wild) could participate in such preparations. Tamas Groeschel, who was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 1999 as their first Hungarian, was not in camp.

The previous season, Jarrat scored 15 points (5 goals, 10 assists) in 36 games for Budapest in the First League. In the Elite World Championship in May – where the Hungarian team exited the top flight – he participated in seven matches and provided one assist.

The four-time Stanley Cup winners (1980, 1981, 1982, 1983) were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last season. Its stars include Semyon Varlamov, Ilya Sorokin, Brooke Nelson, Anders Lee, and Matthew Barzal.

During camp, the NHL club is constantly reducing players until the Oct. 14 tournament against the Buffalo Sabers. Until then, the team will play six preparatory matches. An NHL roster has a capacity of 23 players (usually 13 or 14 forwards, 7 or 8 defensemen, and 2 goaltenders). Others, who make it along the way, will find a place in reserve teams, in the AHL, which is the second division, or in the ECHL, which is the third division, or they may return to their European league. Clubs.

The New York Islanders’ AHL team is the Bridgeport Islanders, and the ECHL team is the Worcester Railers.

Zsombor Garát’s wife Fanni Garát-Gasparics is also a selected player. He is currently with Sweden’s Brynäs until November 5th and was confident he would be able to join the reconfigured overseas PWHL, but was not sold on Monday’s selection (draft). Thus, he will be able to prove himself in the PWHL club as a so-called free agent – an independent player. The Women’s Professional League starts in January.

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Cover Photo:
Budapest, May 9, 2023. Canadians Michael Carcone (b) and Zsombor Jarat in the Ice Hockey World Cup warm-up match between Hungary and Canada at the MVM Dome in Budapest on May 9, 2023. The two national teams are preparing for the Tampere Riga World Championships starting on May 12. MTI/Tibor Ellis

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