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Future Watch: Milan Kytnar

by Kristi Hennessy / Edmonton Oilers
Milan Kytnar is trying to get his season back on track with Vancouver.

(photo by Chris Relk / Vancouver Giants)

LANGLEY, BC - Topolcany, Slovakia native Milan Kytnar has been described as a safe defensive player. He is good around the net but could stand to develop a stronger aggressive style of play.

Kytnar, 20, was Edmonton’s fifth pick (127th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry draft joining the Oilers after two seasons in the Western Hockey League. On May 24, 2009, the Edmonton Oilers General Manager Steve Tambellini announced that the Oilers had signed Kytnar to a three-year entry level contract.

Last season, the 6’0”, 180 pound forward flourished with the Saskatoon Blades posting impressive numbers that turned the heads of many fans in Edmonton. He registered 27 goals, 37 assists, and 89 penalty minutes in 65 games. In seven post-season games, he added three goals, one assist, and 14 penalty minutes.  He was soon named to the Slovakian team at the 2009 World Junior Championships. He recorded six assists and four penalty minutes in the seven games he played in the tournament.

Prior to playing in Saskatoon, Kytnar spent his 2007-2008 rookie season with the Kelowna Rockets. He posted nine goals, 13 assists, and 66 penalty minutes in 62 regular season games and had four penalty minutes in seven playoff contests.

Kytnar was traded to the Vancouver Giants after playing just three games this season.  Kytnar has battled through long term injuries this year that has only allowed him to play 24 of the 51 games that he has been on the Giants roster.

“It’s been a tough year for me, with injuries,” said Kytnar.  “I didn’t play for three months, like twenty plus games. It’s tough to get back in it but I think I can handle it and do well. I really enjoy playing in Vancouver because it’s a great organization especially when you want to make the next step.”


Q: Do you have a special reason that you wore 19 and now have 18?
A: “My favorite number is 19 but when I came over here, they didn’t know if Wright would be back so they didn’t give it to me. I like 19 because it’s my birthday so I would always pick 19.”

Q: Do you have any personal rituals on game day or any dressing room routines?
A: “I like to go for coffee before I go to the rink on game days and kind of chill out for like 15-20 minutes and relax a little bit. I just come to the rink and get ready for the game. I like to be a fun guy around the group and help the guys relax a little bit.”

Q: What sport would you play in the Winter Olympics other than hockey?
A: "That's a tough question! I think I'd have to say snowboarding"
So far with the Giants, Kytnar has played in 24 games and posted five goals and 10 assists for 15 points and has 18 penalty minutes.

“Moving over to Vancouver from Saskatoon, they are both very good teams right now," Kytnar said. "It wasn’t really tough to move here because both organizations have very high expectations of their players so it doesn’t really matter who you play for. You still have to play your best every game, every night."

Kytnar attended his third rookie camp this past September and played in a few pre-season games for the Oilers. He was sent back down on September 21st, 2009 for another year with the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL. At that time, he had no idea that he would be moved to the Vancouver Giants in the near future.

“Oilers put me back in the juniors to basically improve my offense,” said Kytnar.  “But I haven’t played for three quarters of the year now so it’s hard to get back and be as productive as I’d like to be. I think I just have to give it time and I’ll be good.”

Kytnar says that he is looking forward to staying healthy for the remainder of the season and into the playoffs for one last push at the Memorial Cup. Next year will be a whole new experience as he will not be eligible to play another year in the WHL.

“I’m not really thinking about next season yet,” said Kytnar.  “We still have like 18 games left plus the playoffs and then we’ll see. Of course I will get ready in the summer for the NHL and try to make it, and see how I do in the main training camp.”
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