For his immediate future, Detroit Red Wings prospect Jan Bednar knows what he’ll be doing. He’s currently in Edmonton, playing goal for Czechia at the IIHF World Junior Championship.
Beyond that, though, your guess is as good as his might be.
“Honestly, I don’t know yet,” Bednar admitted frankly in an interview with the iSport.cz website. “I don’t want to deal with it at all, I have a fight for the World Cup ahead of me. Then we’ll see if I get an invitation to camp in Detroit and a contract offer.
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“There is some feedback there, but I don’t want to go into details. If I said something now, it could be different then. I certainly don’t think I’m out of options.”
Since he was playing for Karlovy Vary HC of the Czech Extraliga when Detroit selected him 107th overall in the 2020 NHL entry draft, Bednar isn’t covered by the NHL-CHL agreement. That means the Red Wings didn’t need to be signing him prior to the 2022 draft in order to maintain his NHL rights.
Junior Looking To Be Likely Bednar Destination
The fact of the matter is that following offseason machinations, the Red Wings are well-stocked between pipes at the pro level. Beyond the NHL, Victor Brattstrom, Jussi Olkinoura and John Lethemon are signed for the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit’s top farm club. There’s no decision yet on whether 2021 first-round pick Sebastian Cossa will be turning pro or returning to the WHL Edmonton Oil Kings.
At this juncture, it would appear that Jan Bednar is also destined to play a third season with the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan. And he’s okay with that likelihood.
“I can stay in the junior, which is also a great option,” Bednar said. “I have everything there that I need for my development.”
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Just 19 and with a year of junior eligibility remaining, the 6-foot-4, 196-pound Bednar isn’t of the opinion that he needs to take a step up in competition in order to further his progress as a puckstopper.
“I do not think so,” Bednar said. “A lot of people say: ‘Why would you go back there, when you can play senior hockey somewhere?’ I’m happy where I am and I don’t want to rush anything. I consider my step to leave Vary to go overseas to be 100% correct. I don’t regret it.
“From a personal point of view, the (2021-22) season was not bad at all,” Bednar said. “I stayed in the better waters of statistics. As a goalkeeper, I have progressed a lot.”
Bednar A Bathurst Fan
In fact, he finds life in the cozy little town of Bathurst, New Brunswick, popoulation 11,897, to be providing him an ideal scenario in terms of both hockey and quality of life.
“It’s a small town,” Bednar acknowledges. “It’s absolutely enough for me. I’m not there to shop and sightsee. I want to play hockey and develop. In this regard, I have everything I need and I have nothing to complain about.
“I have a great (billet) family, teammates and the people in the organization are also great.”