When Adam Húska was 6 years old, he started playing hockey in his hometown of Zvolen, Slovakia. He started as a defenseman for about three years, but at age nine he switched to goalie. “I just wanted to try it and liked it so much, I ended up staying in the net‘” Húska explains. Now, almost two decades later, he is back in Zvolen on loan playing for his childhood team again.
From Zvolen to Green Bay and Storrs
Húska made his debut mid-season for Zvolen’s u18 team at age 14. After three full seasons following that, the goalie was watching the 2015 NHL Draft at home with his parents.
“I remember the Rangers scouts called me and said that I am being drafted and it was such an amazing feeling for me and my family,” he recalled with a huge smile on his face. It was an important moment for a kid from a country that historically doesn’t produce as much talent as their arch rivals, the Czech Republic.
Prior to the draft, Húska represented his country at the u18 WJC where Slovakia finished 4th in a group behind Canada, Sweden and Russia but ahead of Germany.
That tournament was his stepping stone to hockey in North America. “Before I went to Green Bay Gamblers, I played for the National team where lot of scouts go to watch young kids,” he explained. “Thats how I got drafted to the USHL and then I went there and I had a really good season.”
In Green Bay, Húska was the starting goalie in his first full season in North America and being able to play against talented players of his own age was a big step and huge reason for his development early on.
Following the 2015-16 season, Húska moved on and joined the University of Connecticut. “I went there so that I could play more games and it was a good experience. It wasnt as fast paced as the AHL but it was still good hockey.” Knowing he wasn’t ready yet, Húska spent the next 3 years in Storrs, playing for UCONN.
Temporarily back home
After a year in Hartford and a short stint in Maine with the Mariners in the ECHL, Húska is now back home. On loan with HKM Zvolen, the team he rooted for as a kid. “I am happy to be here and I am glad that the Rangers organization let me come here for 2 months before the season starts back in US.,” he joyfully expressed. “Last time I played in the rink in Zvolen was 6 or 7 years ago.”
Húska spent the summer practicing with several of his now-teammates after not traveling with the Rangers to Toronto for the bubble. Now back in Zvolen, the young goalie is happy to represent his favorite team.
After a handful of pre-season games, he made his regular season debut against Dukla Trenčín, saving 23 of 25 shots to help his team to a 3-2 win. What’s next remains to be seen, but Húska’s expectations are to fly back to North America mid-November, when his loan with HKM Zvolen ends.
PS: I want to thank Adam Húska for sitting down with me and giving me the opportunity to share this story with our fanbase.