PRAGUE, Czechia - Out of the Worlds.

But onto the Olympic radar.

Martin Pospisil, one of Slovakia's brightest stars at the 2024 IIHF World Championship in Czechia, left enough of a mark to put himself in serious contention to compete for Slovakia again when the NHL returns to Olympic ice at the 2026 Milan Games.

That's the wish, at least, of the guy who has long been tasked with guiding the team.

"I sure hope so," said Craig Ramsay, at Slovakia's helm for both the 2018 PyeongChang Games and 2022 Beijing Games, in addition to serving as coach for the National team at all international events dating back to 2017.

"Look at him. He's a guy that everybody was impressed with. He hasn't been able to come here before, so now all of a sudden he's here and he makes an impact right away. That's something that everybody is well aware of. Just want him to get healthy.

"I can see him as a big contributor to the program down the road.

"And what a treat to go and play in Milan. That would be very special."


NHL players will participate in the Olympics in 2026 and 2030, the league announced back in February, 12 years after last competing in the best-on-best format at the 2014 Sochi Games.

Pospisil, 15 at the time, would've seen Slovakia slot 11th in the tournament.

He'll be 26 by the time the next opportunity rolls around.

"That's very far ahead," said 33-year-old Tomas Tatar, captain for Slovakia at the 2024 Worlds and a forward with the Seattle Kraken. "I'm sure his name is around there. We have only so many guys in the NHL and for us it's a privilege to make it to that league. I think he proved himself this year that he belongs there.

"I hope he's going to be one of the main guys on the National team in the future."


Pospisil, who had previously represented Slovakia at the 2017 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in his home country and the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship in Vancouver and Victoria, burst onto the international scene at the men's level last month.

His blend of tenacity, speed and skill - hallmarks in his game back in Calgary - earned plenty of rave reviews and somber condolences after an upper-body cut his tournament short at the tail end of the preliminary round.

Pospisil had scored seven points (3G, 4A) through six games - serving as one of Slovakia's most productive players - before being stopped midway through the first period in an inconsequential preliminary wrap-up against Sweden, tumbling into the boards and out of the tournament.

But battling back is Pospisil's specialty.

He's overcome injuries, in addition to a lengthy concussion history, rebounding to become one of the Flames' biggest play-drivers in 2023-24.

There, his eight goals, 16 assists, 24 points and 109 penalty minutes were felt both in Calgary and around the NHL.

And, potentially, abroad.

On the Olympic stage.

In roughly 20 months.

"I never had a doubt about Martin," said Slovak teammate and Washington Capitals defenceman Martin Fehervary. "He was always the top player in our age group. He knows what he has to do to be his best player. He skates really fast, picks up a lot of pucks and wins a lot of battles.

"It shows his attitude. He went through a lot and he still keeps battling.

"I'm really happy for him."