Medvescak confirmed new players on the roster for next season and they could all fit into category 'native', speaking in a totally positive sense. In fact, only Mario Puskaric is a new name added to Bears' roster, while Tomislav Zanoski, Jan Smolec and Ivan Jankovic have extended their loyalty to Zagreb club.
Mario Puskarich, American of Croatian decent, born in Cape Coral, Florida will join Medvescak after playing for ten years in North American leagues. The son of Dave and Sonya Puskarich played his best games in Vermont University jersey in the NCAA where he was part of the team for four years while completing business studies.
He racked up 52 goals and 65 assists in 138 games played and was given the honour of wearing the 'C' in his final year. His best season in Vermont was his rookie season (2013/14) when he was named Rookie of the Year for the Eastern NCAA Conference and was named to the Conference All-Star Team.
Video source: www.youtube.com
Another proof of Puskarich's quality is seven game winner goals scored in 2013/14 NCAA season with which he led the entire team.
“Mario is a Croatian heritage player who excelled in the NCAA as a top scorer for his team and was a real leader for them. He got a taste of pro hockey after his season last year and played really well for Manchester. We believe he can take his game to another level and be a high end offensive guy for us,” Medvescak’s Sports Director Aaron Fox said.
After leaving the University last year, he played for the Manchester Monarchs of the ECHL. In a total of 11 games he tallied seven points and also helped his team in the playoffs. The Monarchs made it to Conference Finals where South Carolina knocked them out.
Before the NCAA, now a 25-year-old Puskarich played in the best North American development leagues (USHL, NAHL, BCHL) and he had an exceptionally good season with the Langley Riverman just before enrolling in the University. He scored 72 goals and helped on another 76 in 115 games played.
A fan favourite, ‘bad boy’ from Jordanovac Tomislav Zanoski will for sure be a great help to Puskarich in settling in his country of old. For Zanoski, this will be the fifth season he plays for Medvescak.
Video source: www.youtube.com
He spent the two seasons in the EBEL (2011/12, 2012/13) and two seasons in the KHL playing for the Bears. Zagreb-born player crowned his bountiful career with an EBEL Champion title while playing for the Austrian KAC. With the aforementioned clubs, Zanoski competed for Linz, Olimpia and Bolzano in the EBEL.
A few of the home-grown players have extended their loyalty to Medvescak. Jan Smolec and Ivan Jankovic will be an important part of the team going into the new EBEL season. These guys have shown some excellent games in Medvescak’s EBYSL team and have spent the last season learning and gaining experience in the KHL.
|2||EC Red Bull Salzburg||26||15||7||51|
|4||EC KAC Klagenfurt||26||14||6||51|
|7||HC Orli Znojmo||267||12||11||41|
|11||KHL MEDVESCAK Zagreb||25||6||16||21|