Going from the AHL to the ECHL is not the direction any professional hockey player wants their career to take. But after two games with the AHL Worcester Sharks this season, Sharks prospect Marek Viedensky was reassigned to the ECHL Bulls.
“It’s tough right now but hopefully will get better” commented Viedensky on the re-assignment.
But as for his play with San Francisco, so far so good through one game. The native Slovakian opened the scoring for the Bulls on Friday night with a nice snap shot and added an power-play assist in an eventual 4-2 win over the Idaho Steelheads. Getting off to the fast start with the new team was certainly a big confidence boost.
“It felt good, you know, after a tough start [to the season], come here, score first goal and get another assist” added the 6’4″ 210 pound center “It definitely felt good.”
Viedensky, you may recall, was taken in the seventh round by the Sharks back in 2009, 189th overall. Now 22, the hulky center is coming off a disappointing campaign with Worcester, scoring just five goals and adding six assists in 52 games last season.
And now having to transition to the ECHL means Viedensky needs to showcase his skills and start producing on a more consistent basis. The Sharks organization has seen many late draft picks wind up in the NHL and they didn’t select Viedensky just to select a player. At his age, he is still growing into his frame and has the potential to make it to the NHL. Perhaps it’s a long shot at this point but Viedensky has excellent hands for someone his size and showed off some slick passing in his debut on Friday.
It also appears as if Bulls head coach Pat Curcio is going to give Viedensky the opportunity to flourish and gain back confidence as he gave the center ice time on both the power-play and penalty kill against Idaho.
“[Coach] told me that I was going to do power play” confirmed the newest Bull. “And back in Worcester I was doing penalty kill. He [Curcio] put me on the one penalty kill [tonight] and I think he’ll keep me there.”
Viedensky may not be the swiftest skater in the world but shields the puck well with his frame and blocked a key shot on that third period penalty kill. If you could compare his style to any recent NHLer, Bobby Holik is the type of player that comes to my mind.
While Curcio didn’t go as far as comparing Viedensky to NHLers, he did have many positive words on his new center’s performance.
“I thought the addition of Viedensky was not only huge for our club because he’s such a great player but it’s also huge for our club because he’s Slovakian and speaks Slovak” noted Curcio. “Peter Sivak, who doesn’t speak English has been struggling and the two of them are like long lost brothers. I think they work awesome together and I think they are only going to get better together.”
Sivak did stick out against Idaho on Viedensky’s wing and was able to use his speed more effectively with the easier communication.
So while Viedensky settles into a new city and new team, there already seems to be some budding relationships within the Bulls organization. He may not be in San Francisco long though if he continues to light the lamp. Therefore if Sharks fans want to catch a glimpse of a different No. 55 in San Francisco, a hockey player who may wind up in San Jose someday, you might want to get to the Cow Palace soon to catch a game.
The Bulls are home Saturday (tonight), Sunday and host the first place Ontario Reign (led by former Shark Devin Setoguchi) on Black Friday.