Lately, a player wearing the number 52 has been playing with Rapperswil. His name was not printed on the jersey. Not bad, that guy, he looks good. Was he some young gun coming from the youth organization? Nope. We mean, he had to be at least 18 or more, considering that he wasn’t wearing a helmet with full cage.
Was he an undercover Mr. X? Nope. In fact, he was a player who has collected over 450 National League appearances tallying over 180 points to date. We’re talking about Juraj Simek!
Back to mid-October, Genève Servette loaned Juraj Simek to Rapperswil until the international break. And now, with satisfaction of all parties, Juraj will stay in Rapperswil until the end of the current season.
Hopefully now, after 7 games (3 points) played “incognito”, his name will be printed on his jersey. It shouldn’t be so expensive, right dear Rappi? We mean, give this poor guy a name 🙂
Anyway, Juraj Simek is doing well with the Lakers. He scored 3 points but mostly he turned out to be a precious player. We’re talking about Juraj Simek, after all. A great talent that maybe doesn’t excel in something in particular, but does pretty much everything well, and can even score points. We mean, potentially he is a great trump-card for each team.
Juraj Simek played few seasons in the youth organization of Bern, and then at the U20 level he transferred to Kloten on the eve of the 2003-04 season. That Kloten could count on forwards such as Simon Bodenmann, the Brunner’s brothers and Roman Wick among others. The following season then, the time came for his NLA debut.
He made his debut during the 2004-05 season, when he collected overall 18 appearances with the first team of Kloten without scoring points. That same season, however, he even played 39 games with the U20 Elit of Kloten tallying 30 points and finishing as the third best scorer of the team.
It was, however, during the following 2005-06 season that Juraj Simek blossomed for real. He collected 42 appearances with the U-20 Elit of Kloten tallying 63 points. Moreover, with the first team of Kloten coached by the legend Anders Eldebrink, he played 8 games in the NLA and scored his first point. Most and above all, finally, he was drafted by the Vancouver Canuck in 167th position overall in 2006! First things first…
A NICE BIRTHDAY PRESENT
Juraj Simek scored his first point in the NLA on September 30th, 2005, right the day after his 18th birthday! On that day, Kloten played Zug on the road and suffered a 6-4 defeat. The Bulls’ scorers were Patrick Fischer, Paul Di Pietro, Duri Camichel, Timo Pärssinen, Oleg Petrov and Patrick Oppliger. The Airmen’ scorers instead, were Jaroslav Hlinka, Kimmo Rintanen, Frédéric Rothen and Victor Stancescu. And right when Stancescu scored, Juraj Simek had his first ever assist in the top tier of Swiss hockey.
At the end of the 2005-06 season then, after that he played also 3 games with Bienne in the NLB, the day of the NHL draft came. At that point, Juraj’s career continued for four seasons and a half in North America.
THE TIME IN NA
Overseas, Juraj played his first season in the WHL with the Brandon Wheat Kings, tallying 63 points in 67 games. In the same team, there was also the former Lugano and Lausanne Codey Burki.
Starting from the following season then – 2007-08 – he started his AHL career. He played the first season with the Manitoba Moose where he played also with other guys who are quite known in our National League. Among them, we name Jozef Balej, Daniel Rahimi, Ryan Shannon and Colby Genoway.
The other 2 seasons and a half instead, he played mostly with the Norfolk Admirals, where also in this case he played alongside several guys who are known in National League. Including Geoff Kinrade, Mike Lundin and the former Rappi Radek Smolenak. Prior to his come-back to Switzerland finally, Juraj also played 11 games with the Providence Bruins and so, overall, Simek collected 237 AHL appearances tallying 85 points (41 goals).
COMEBACK TO SWITZERLAND
At that point, the time had come to come back to Switzerland, and so he joined Genève Servette coached by Chris McSorley. Juraj arrived at Les Vernets for the latest stages of the 2010-11 season and it took him not much to make his mark…
FIRST NLA GOAL
During his 7th game after his comeback in fact, Juraj Simek was able to score his first NLA career goal. It happened during game-6 of the quarterfinal series between Servette and Zug. The Eagles hosted the Bulls at Les Vernets and suffered a 5-4 overtime defeat that put their season to an end. Nevertheless, Simek scored the hosts’ third goal of the night and therefore also his second NLA point came during a game against Zug!
Well, we think it’s safe to say that it was a great love between him and Servette between 2011 and 2019.
WITH A BREAK…
Only during the 2014-15 season in fact, Juraj was loaned firstly to the TPS Turku and then to Lugano… for the rest instead, he proved all his talent in Genève.
A PRECIOUS PLAYER
Over the years, Juraj Simek has proved to be a player that maybe doesn’t excel in one area but a player that can do pretty much everything well. For sure he’s got good stickhandling and he’s also a good skater. Moreover, he’s a player capable of scoring approximately 0.4 points per game on average which is not bad. Let us not forget, finally, that when he is at the top of his game he can really be lethal!
We think it’s safe to say, however and with all due respect, that perhaps he could even have a better career in terms of consistency. Even though, it’s always easy to say it from the outside.
The fact remains that this season his love-story with Genève Servette had a moment of crisis.
Juraj’s time on ice was quite low and so he was loaned to Rapperswil. Firstly, for a couple of weeks and then for the full season.
HIS NEW ADVENTURE AND HIS FAVORITE OPPONENTS…
Juraj Simek made his debut with Rappi on October 15th, when his new team hosted Lugano. And he scored his first points with his new jersey during the following game won by the Lakers… against who?! Against Zug, of course! We mean, the Bulls’ are surely Juraj’s favorite opponents when it comes to score points for the first time with a new team.
Only after transferring to Lugano he didn’t score his first points against the Bulls. But he did it against Davos… when the Ibexes goalie was a certain Leonardo Genoni, currently the goalie of Zug of course 🙂
And then… all the best to Juraj Simek. A player that is now 32 but that has still got a lot to do in his career. Right now, he’s even experienced and can help Rapperswil a lot. He already proved during these first 7 games – 8 with the Swiss Cup – that he can be a precious player for the Lakers.
But now, considering that he’ll play for Rapperswil until the end of the season, do us a favor… and give this guy a name. He deserves it, after all 🙂
Updated to 13.11.2019