Topic: Pavol Demitra

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Pavol Demitra (November 29, 1974 – September 7, 2011) was a Slovak professional ice hockey player. Demitra played sixteen seasons in North America in the National Hockey League (NHL) before joining Lokomotiv in 2010. Demitra joined the NHL in 1993, with the Ottawa Senators, with whom he was originally drafted. He also played for the St. Louis Blues, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks. Before he joined the NHL, Demitra played in his native Slovakia, as well as the American Hockey League (AHL) and International Hockey League (IHL), minor professional leagues in North America. In Demitra's NHL career, he achieved the 300-goal mark and won the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship in 2000.

Internationally, Demitra won a bronze medal for Czechoslovakia at the 1993 World Junior Championships. After the country split in 1993, Demitra began competing for Slovakia, with whom he won a second bronze medal at the 2003 World Championships, and he served as a captain of a national team both at the 2006 Winter Olympics and the home 2011 World Championships. At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver he became the leader of the tournament in scoring. Demitra announced his retirement from international hockey in 2011, and he represented Slovakia for the last time on on May 9, 2011, during the 2011 World Championships. Demitra died in a plane crash on September 7, 2011, along with his teammates from Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.

As an 18 year old, Demitra played with HC Dukla Trencin of the Czechoslovak Extraliga in 1992–93, where he scored 11 goals and 28 points in 46 games. After the season, Demitra was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the ninth round, 227th overall in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. He would be considered one of the best draft steals in NHL history.

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