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PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS MONTREAL CANADIENS
Montreal Canadiens Radek Bonk of the Czech Republic stretches before the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 1, 2007. (UPI Photo/Stephen Gross)
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Radek Bonk (born January 9, 1976) is a Czech professional ice hockey player currently playing for the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Bonk was born in Czechoslovakia and began his hockey career playing for HC Opava in the Junior Czech league and HC Zlín in the Czech Extraliga.. He moved to North America in 1993 with a goal of playing in the NHL and was signed by the International Hockey League (IHL)'s Las Vegas Thunder, with whom he spent the 1993–94 season as a 17 year old. Bonk was an immediate sensation in the IHL and by the end of his first season of the North American brand of hockey he had registered 42 goals and 45 assists for 87 points in 76 games. NHL scouts took notice, and Bonk found himself at or near the top of all the top prospects lists for the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. Given his young age (17), size, and ability to quickly adapt to the more physical style of hockey in North America, Bonk became a "can't miss" prospect.

He was drafted third overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, the first forward selected. He returned to Las Vegas for the first half of the 1994–95 season while the NHL was shut down by the owners' lockout and registered 20 points in 33 games. His debut NHL season of 1994–95 was somewhat disappointing, and Bonk scored only 3 goals and 11 points in 42 games. His progress took some seasoning in his first five years of NHL hockey before he emerged as one of the league's most complete forwards by 1999–00. He went on to play for the Senators for 10 seasons, eventually becoming the team’s #1 center under the tutelage of head coach Jacques Martin.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Radek Bonk."
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