Last week we reported that Capitals prospect Martin Hugo Has finally found a temporary home to play a little hockey. With the exception of participating in the Czech Republic’s U20 training camps for two weeks, the 6’4”, right-handed defenseman had been pretty much sitting idle since March.
Since our initial report, the 19-year-old made his debut with HC Benátky nad Jizerou in the Czech’s Chance (second) League. He recorded an assist in his first game, and spent almost twenty minutes on the ice in a tough battle with Vrchlabí.
Has will return to the Czech Republic’s U20 training camp in about two weeks in order to begin final preparations for the upcoming World Junior Championship. Until then, he’ll get in a few games with HC Benátky.
Has sat for an interview this weekend with Hokej.cz. Here are a few excerpts from the interview.
What was your first game like?
“Good! Of course, I’m glad I can be here with the boys. I think we got into it well,” said Has in an interview with Hokej.cz.
“Before everything settled down, it was a bit sloppy. But then, as we got into it, it started to work. Precisely because it was the first game played in a few weeks, there was quite a long time of frustration in us. I think we did well in those battles.”
[Note: The Chance league had been shut down for the good part of the month due to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic]
An ideal start for your psyche, right?
“Clearly. Winning the first game after such a long time is something we set out for. Everyone put everything into it.”
How did you even handle your arrival in Venice?
“Mr. Mlejnek (Czech Republic U20 coach), of course, the agent and the others solved it. It was arranged in Venice, and as I say, I’m just glad to be here.”
I guess you waited the longest in your career for a competitive game?
“By all means.”
Was it a lot?
“In July we had three games with the national team and then the camp, where we also played and gradually got into it. If I didn’t have any game training now, it would definitely look a lot different, but that’s why it looked pretty good.”
In your opinion, how does the Chance League compare to Finland or Canada?
“I would say it’s compared to the Finnish league, it is a bigger carving (laughs). But it may have been just that particular game. After one game, I don’t want to completely compare the differences. It’s still hockey.”
Do you remember your last match in Czech competitions?
“It must have been in Sparta in the youth sometime, but I can’t remember exactly.”
At the end of the 2016/17 season, when you won the title with the junior youth.
“Well, it’s been a long time (smiles).”
Do you expect to stay in Venice for only two weeks?
“It should be so. The coaches have arranged with Mr. Mlejnek, the U20 camp before departure for the championship starts sometime on the fifth or sixth of December. Until then, I will be here and I will do my best.”
And do you already know what it will be like with your return to the Canadian juniors?
“It hasn’t been addressed much yet. If I went to the championship, the best option would probably be to stay there right away. The championship ends on the fifth, then we still have to be quarantined for fourteen days anyway. At the end of January, OHL camps are starting, in which I should participate.”
[Note: Has is expected to return to the Guelph Storm when the OHL starts back up early next year]
Are you going to play hockey when you will not be able to touch your opponent?
“I hope it doesn’t happen and that it was just a shot in the dark (smiles) . We’ll see what they have in store for us.”
You can read the entire interview with Martin Hugo Has here.
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By Jon Sorensen