Michalek left his native Czech Republic to play two seasons for Shawinigan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League from 2000-02. Undrafted, he signed as a free agent with the Minnesota Wild on Sept. 29, 2001.
As a rookie pro, Michalek won the Calder Cup with Houston of the American Hockey League in 2002-03. He made his NHL debut with the Wild on Jan. 16, 2004, against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Playing in 22 games, Michalek scored his first NHL goal March 9, 2004, against the San Jose Sharks.