|Bližňák with the Vancouver Giants in 2007.|
| 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
185 lb (84 kg)
| NHL Team (P)|
| Vancouver Canucks|
Manitoba Moose (AHL)
Vancouver Canucks (NHL)
Dubnica Spartak HC (Slovakia)
|Born|| March 6 1987,|
|NHL Draft|| 205th overall, 2005|
|Pro Career||2008 – present|
Mário Bližňák (born March 3, 1987, in Trencin, Slovakia) is a Slovak professional ice hockey center who currently plays for Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League (AHL) within the Vancouver Canucks organization of the National Hockey League (NHL). After playing in the Slovak Extraliga, Bližňák was selected by the Canucks in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, and moved to North America, joining the Vancouver Giants of the major junior Western Hockey League (WHL) in 2005. Bližňák played three seasons with the Giants, helping them win the Memorial Cup, the national championship for major junior hockey in Canada, in 2007, before joining the Moose in 2008. He is best known as a defensive forward.
Bližňák began playing junior hockey in his native Slovakia with Dubnica Spartak HC's under-18 and junior teams. After appearing in 19 games with Dubnica's senior team of the Slovak Extraliga as a seventeen-year-old in 2004–05, he was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the seventh round, 205th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Bližňák was also drafted that off-season 27th overall by the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League in the 2005 CHL Import Draft. He subsequently moved to North America to continue to play junior for the Giants.
In three seasons with the Giants, Bližňák helped the club to a WHL championship as part of a 21-point rookie campaign in 2005–06 and a Memorial Cup championship in 2007. Following his Memorial Cup victory with the Giants, he signed his first NHL contract with the Canucks. Bližňák returned to the Giants the following season and posted a WHL career-high 51 points in 67 games as an overager.
Graduating from junior, he was assigned by the Canucks to their AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, for the 2008–09 season. Playing alongside linemate and veteran team captain Mike Keane most of the season, he recorded 7 goals and 16 points in 64 games, second among team rookies. Bližňák and the Moose made it to the Calder Cup finals that season, but lost to the Hershey Bears in six games. Bližňák scored the lone goal for the Moose in the decisive game six. Bližňák earned his first NHL call-up with the Canucks the following season in 2009–10 on October 30, 2009, after an injury to fellow Moose call-up Alexandre Bolduc. He played two games with the Canucks before being sent back to rejoin the Moose.
Bližňák played for Slovakia in the 2007 World Junior Championships. He tallied 1 goal in 6 games as Slovakia failed to advance from the preliminaries.
Regular season and playoffsEdit
|2004–05||Dubnica Spartak HC||SVK||19||0||0||0||14||–||–||–||–||–|
International statistics Edit
|Junior int'l totals||6||1||0||1||2|
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Mário Bližňák. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).|