Andrej Sekera earned a silver medal in this year’s IIHF World Championships with Team Slovakia. The Buffalo Sabres defenseman had an impressive performance, notching two goals and seven assists in 10 games.On the scoresheet, this gave him third place in defensive scoring, behind only Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks and Jonas Holos (Norway), and tied Sekera for eighth in tournament scoring overall.
He even led the Slovakian national team in scoring, giving the young blueliner his best international tournament ever.
Sekera has represented his country a number of times on the international stage, beginning with World U-18 championships of 2004. In six games, he had a goal and an assist.
In 2005, he suited up for his first World Championships, playing in six games and notching one goal. The following season, he scored two goals and three assists in the Worlds.
In a combined 11 games during the Worlds of ’05 and ’06, Sekera had three assists. He went on to play for Slovakia in the 2010 Olympics and had one goal in seven games before also representing in the Worlds that year, where he scored two assists in six games.
This year, the 25-year-old certainly made a name for himself in the IIHF World Championships, but where does this leave things when the NHL season begins in October?
With six defensemen already signed (including Sekera), Alexander Sulzer a free agent who could be re-signed, and youngster Brayden McNabb on his way up, there’s bound to be an odd man out. But will that be Sekera, or will Mike Weber be forced to fight his way into the line-up?
Sekera’s overperformance on the international stage is nothing new, and it doesn’t solidify his spot as a starter, but it could give him an edge to begin the season without having to battle so much for a spot.
If he can maintain the performance he executed during the Worlds, it’s going to be a good season.
And if not? He can always spend his off-time polishing that silver medal.