Ilves strengthens its roster with 31-year-old center Ondřej Roman. The Czech forward will transfer from HC Vítkovice to Ilves with a one-year deal.
Ondřej Roman started his career with HC Poruba of Ostrava and made his first appearance in the Czech elite league with HC Vítkovice in the 2005–2006 season. During the same season he won a bronze medal in the U18 World Championships. The forward went on to play in a North American junior league, the Western Hockey League, and in the 2007–2008 season he won the WHL championship and the Memorial Cup as a member of the Spokane Chiefs. The Dallas Stars drafted the forward 136th overall in the fifth round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
After his time in the WHL, Roman returned to his homeland and HC Vítkovice, but the forward moved back to North America after signing an entry-level contract with the Dallas Stars.
Roman has played seven out of the last eight seasons in the Czech Extraliga where he has represented only his hometown’s team HC Vítkovice. In 2015–2016 the center played with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg in Russia.
In the Czech elite league, Roman recorded a total of 89+182=271 points in 404 regular season games and 7+17=24 points in 38 playoff games. In the Champions Hockey League, he registered 2+8=10 points in 13 games. Last season the center, who stands at 182 centimeters, weighs 83 kg, and has a left-handed shot, scored 14+19=33 points in 45 games in the Extraliga.
Roman has played 19 games scoring 4+2=6 points with the Czech men’s national hockey team. The last time the forward played with the Czech national team was during the previous season when he also played in Hakametsä arena against team Finland, a match part of the Euro Hockey Tour.
Roman will arrive in Tampere in August and wear the number 20 on his jersey. Ilves’ sports director Timo Koskela is satisfied with Roman joining the team.
– We are extremely excited about having Ondřej Roman in Ilves next season. He is an experienced player who has done well in the Czech Extraliga year after year. Additionally, he has experience of different leagues and games in North America, the KHL, the Euro Hockey Tour, and the CHL. Roman is a player who skates gracefully, has an excellent eye for the game, and has natural skills for playing offense, said Koskela.