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MOL League: UTE Preview
2016-09-06 19:59 - icehockey.hu

Not so long ago because of their financial situation there was a five year stretch where Újpest was pencilled in to finished at the bottom of the table year in and year out. Times have changed and UTE has stuck to the plan that they had drawn up, they hope to improve for the third straight season. Two years ago they finished the regular season in sixth place last year it was fifth. A top four finish and a spot in the semi finals would be the next step for them.

Head Coach Zoltán Szilassy and his assistant coach Zsolt Baróti have been spearheading the change that has been happening the past few years. This year again they have improved their roster from the previous season. They have added quality Hungarians as well as solid imports on all ends of the roster.

Slovenian goalie Ales Sila is back for another run between the posts, József Pleszkán left to try to become the starter in Debrecen, however being away for one season Olivér Ágoston has returned from rivals Ferencváros. Máté Garbacz could make his MOL League debut during the season.

On the blueline the team has exactly eight solid defenseman and the unit has everything. A nice combination of youth and experience, imports and Hungarian, players with national team experience. Ádám Hegyi, Dániel Kiss and Peter Huba are all back with Nilan Nagy adding grit and size to the group of veterans. The younger half of the unit retains Krisztián Dosa and Ádám Garbacz with Patrik Nagy and Attila Kovács coming over from MAC.

The forward lines already had a number of skilled Hungarian forwards in Karol Csányi, Benji Nemes, Martin Turbucz and Tamás Virág. The imports were replaced by Martin Frolik who had won a MOL League title with Nové Zámky and Slovenian Andrej Hebar. However the biggest offseason pickups not only for UTE but arguably throughout the league was the addition of András Benk and Ladislav Sikorcin, two veteran national team forwards who can find the back of the net and also lay out an opponent when needed. This giveÚjpest three good lines with a fourth one that will match up with other teams second and third forward lines.

Újpest should finish in the top four during the upcoming regular season and would not be too much of a surprise if they find a spot in the MOL League finals. The core of this team has been with Szilassy for now the third straight season and everyone is familiar with each other.

Head coach Zoltán Szilassy: I hope I was able to but a good team together, I always try to bring in good people, players with good character. In Hungarian hockey we all know each other so I know what we were bringing in. We always try to win the next game but for the season it is the playoffs and to make it to the semi finals. Finally we have a normal playoff system that is a best of seven series, which helps us in the long run. We are a hard working team than a skilled team so I think that a longer playoffs will be the advantage for us. Right now we are trying to get our roster and systems together. We have been working on our fitness since May and I think we are set from that point. Our preseason games went well based on what I saw.

*Expert Opinion: I wasn’t the biggest fan of the group of Hungarian players they had last season, they went out and improved on this. They were able to bring in national team players who will help both on the ice as well as in the locker room. The import players did not work out as well last season as they did the year before however it looks like they brought in quality players this season. What will be hard for them is that they do not have a U20 player to call up from if there are any injuries. They have full roster but if they have rash of injuries they will need to reach down to the U18 which it not the best situation.

*Recently retired former MOL League player


#

Pos.

     

                     

29

G

ÁGOSTON

OLIVÉR

98

G

GARBACZ

MÁTÉ

1

G

SILA

ALES

3

D

HUBA

PETER

4

D

NAGY

NILAN

24

D

KOVÁCS

ATTILA

2

D

NAGY

PATRIK

71

D

KISS

DÁNIEL

72

D

GARBACZ

ÁDÁM

27

D

DÓSA

KRISZTIÁN

34

D

HEGYI

ÁDÁM

13

F

BENK

ANDRÁS

49

F

GRÖSCHL

TAMÁS

67

F

FROLIK

MARTIN

61

F

VIRÁG

TAMÁS

84

F

HEBAR

ANDREJ

81

F

CSÁNYI

KAROL

88

F

TURBUCZ

MARTIN

22

F

DÖMÖTÖR

RÓBERT

5

F

NEMES

BENJÁMIN

68

F

PICHLER

ÁDÁM

58

F

PÁPA

MÁRTON

66

F

TÓTH

GERGŐ

18

F

SIKORCIN

LADISLAV

 

Coaching staff

Head coach: Szilassy Zoltán
Assistant coach: Baróti Zsolt
Goalie coach: Várady Csaba