Vladimir Mihalik

Basics

Type: 
Out of Organization
Position: 
Defense
Shoots/Catches: 
Left
Height: 
6.08
Weight: 
246
Born: 
01/29/1987
Age: 
26
Hometown: 
Presov, SVK
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 1 (#30) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft
Last Team: 
Norfolk (AHL)
Projects As: 
Top 2 Defenseman
Depth Chart Weight: 
14

Draft Info

Draft Status: 
Drafted
Draft Year: 
2005
Draft Type: 
NHL Entry Draft
Drafted By: 
Tampa Bay Lightning
Round: 
1
Pick No.: 
30
Draft Team: 
Presov (SVK-2)

Contract

Contract Status: 
Signed
Waiver Status: 
Waiver Eligible
Signing Date: 
07/29/2010
Contract Type: 
Two-way
Contract Length: 
1 year
Cap Number: 
$600 000
Contract Start Year: 
2010
Contract End Year: 
2011
Contract End Status: 
UFA
Salary: 
$600 000

Bio

History: 

Junior Career

Mihalik began his junior career in the Presov organization at age 16 with the club's J-18 team scoring 13 points in 44 games in his first season in 2003-2004. He split the 2004-2005 season between the J-18, J-20 and 1.liga (Slovakian Second Tier) after dominating both junior leagues. In just six games with the J-18 team, Mihalik had 4 goals and 8 points and a +18 rating. J-20 proved little test for Mihalik as well as the defenseman potted 6 goals and 16 points in 23 games with a +17 rating. With the senior team, Mihalik had 3 goals, 4 points and was -5 in 32 games. Mihalik, who was a fixture on Slovakia's junior tournament teams, continued his meteoric rise in being named to the Slovkian national team for the U18 World Junior Championships where he played well with a respectable +2 rating in 6 games in the tournament. The Tampa Bay Lightning were impressed enough to select Mihalik in the 1st round of the 2005 Entry Draft. The Lightning's decision was aided by Brent Sutter and the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL's decision to draft Mihalik in the 1st round, 36th overall of the 2005 CHL Import Draft. Vladimir accepted the Rebels' overtures and moved to North America to begin the 2005-2006 junior season. In December he was named to Team Slovakia for the U20 World Junior Championships where he played well with 3 assists in 6 games. Prior to the season he attended his first Traverse City tournament and Lightning training camp. At Traverse City, the defenseman had just 1 assist in 4 games. Over the summer Mihalik was traded from Red Deer to WHL club Prince George. In 2006-2007, after scoring 1 assist for the Lightning prospect team at the Traverse City tournament, he showed great improvement with the Cougars scoring 7 goals and 26 points in 53 games with 91 penalty minutes. In the playoffs, Mihalik contributed 1 goal and 3 points in 15 games with 17 penalty minutes.

Professional Career

The Lightning signed Mihalik to a 3-year standard contract on April 6, 2007. The defenseman again participated at the Traverse City prospect tournament where he tied for third in the tournament for scoring among defensemen with 1 goal and 4 points. Despite his impressive offensive numbers, Mihalik was chastized for not showing up to camp in the proper shape and for suffering a groin injury during the tournament. As punishment, Mihalik lost an opportunity to participate in Lightning camp and was sent directly to Norfolk Admirals camp instead. The defenseman spent the entire 2007-2008 season with Norfolk, improving greatly over the course of the season and becoming one of Coach Steve Stirling's most trusted blueliners, earning around 20 minutes a night of ice time. Mihalik finished his rookie season of professional hockey with 1 goal and 16 points with 68 penalty minutes and a +9 rating in 68 games.

Scouting Report

Strengths: 

Mihalik has incredible size. Upon arriving in Red Deer in his first year of junior hockey, the Rebels discovered he had grown closer to 6’9” and weighed nearly 260 pounds. Mihalik is agile for a big man and has good mobility. He is adept at using his long reach, and is very good at blocking shots. The defenseman has surprising instincts for jumping into the play offensively at even strength and posseses a cannon for a shot. Mihalik has also shown to be very easy to coach as he is quick to learn from his mistakes.

Weaknesses: 

Mihalik has a tendency to rely on his reach in situations where taking an opposing player out with the body is the better option. He doesn't know his own strength and, as such, isn't as comfortable with the physical game as one would want a player his size to be. Steve Stirling originally planned to use Mihalik on the power play as a rookie with Norfolk in the AHL in 2007-2008, but the defenseman struggled with his decision making with the man advantage. The pieces are there for Mihalik to be more of a contributor offensively, but that side of his game still remains largely undeveloped.

Projection: 

Mihalik looks like he may be a late bloomer potentially capable of exceeding earlier projections by becoming a top pairing NHL defenseman. The comparisons to countryman Zdeno Chara are inevitable because of his size, and perhaps the Lightning and Mihalik should embrace those comparisons because Mihalik might have that kind of upside.

Statistics

Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2003-2004 HC Presov U18Slovakia U1844 2 1113 66|        
 2004-2005 HC Presov U20Slovakia U2023 6 1016 44|        
  HC PresovSlovakia232 3 14 24|Playoffs6 0 11
  Slovakia U18WJC-186 0 00 10|        
 2005-2006 Red Deer RebelsWHL62 3 912 86|        
  Slovakia U20WJC-206 0 33 8|        
 2006-2007 Prince George CougarsWHL53 7 1926 91|Playoffs15 1 23 17 
  Slovakia U20WJC-206 1 01 4|        
 2007-2008 Norfolk AdmiralsAHL68 1 1516 68|        
 2008-2009 Tampa Bay LightningNHL11 0 33 6|        
  Norfolk AdmiralsAHL61 2 1315 58|        
 2009-2010 Tampa Bay LightningNHL4 0 00 2|        
  Norfolk AdmiralsAHL75 2 1618 67|        
  SlovakiaWC6 1 01 4|        
  Slovakia (all)International10 1 01 -|        
 2010-2011 Norfolk AdmiralsAHL66 1 89 107|Playoffs6 0 22
 2011-2012 Lev PopradKHL37 1 45 37|        
  TimråSHL13 0 33 14|Kvalserien SHL9 1 12
  Slovakia (all)International12 0 22 -|        
 2012-2013 HC Slovan BratislavaKHL15 2 02 16|Playoffs4 1 01
  HC Slovan BratislavaET8 0 00 0|Playoffs1 0 00
  SlovakiaWC8 0 11 4|        
  Slovakia (all)International15 1 12 10|        
 2013-2014 HC Slovan BratislavaKHL38 2 35 20|        
  HC Slovan BratislavaET4 0 00 0|        
  HC Slovan BratislavaNadezhda Cup2 0 00 2|        
  SlovakiaWC2 0 00 0|        
  Slovakia (all)International2 0 11 2|        
 2014-2015 HC Slovan BratislavaKHL19 1 01 14|        

Player statistics © www.eliteprospects.com