Medicine Hat, AB — With the NHL Playoffs continuing this week with the Conference Finals, players who have been knocked out of the post season will make their way to either Paris, France or Cologne, Germany to compete in the 2017 IIHF World Championships. Team Canada will compete among the 16 team tournament which sees countries like Italy and home team France try their luck at the World title. This year the tournament will see 2 former Tigers competing including hometown boy Yannic Seidenberg (Germany) and Tomas Kundratek (Czech Republic).
Tiger fans might remember Seidenberg from the 2004 WHL Championship winning team as he was brought to Medicine Hat in the 2003 Import Draft, 29th overall. Seidenberg would go on to play in just the one season for the Tigers before heading back to play in Germany. Seidenberg recorded 66 points in 67 games including 47 assists which was most among WHL rookies that season. Yannic and the Tigers had a successful season going all the way to the WHL Championships. Seidenberg recorded 19 points in 20 playoff games, which ranked 3rd during the post season among all skaters.
Since dawning the orange and black in 2004, Seidenberg has gone on to play 13 seasons back home in Germany in the DEL league with 4 teams, most recently Munich EHC. This season was the most productive Seidenberg has been since the 2007-08 season as he recorded 41 points in 52 games played. Seidenberg will play for Germany alongside brother Dennis (NY Islanders).
The other Tiger fans might recognize is defenceman Tomas Kundratek. The big blueliner came to the Tigers during the 2008-09 season. Drafted in the 1st Round of the CHL Import Draft (15th overall) by the Tigers in 2008, Kundratek would play 2 seasons in Medicine Hat appearing in 116 games. Prior to the 2008 season and the arrival of Kundratek to the Tigers, he was selected in the 3rd Round of the NHL Entry Draft (90th) overall and later signed to an entry level contract in April of the same year.
In 116 games with the Tigers Kundratek recorded 58 points and in another 23 post season games recorded 12 points. Since playing with the Tigers Kundratek spent time in the American Hockey League, first with the New York Rangers affiliate teams and then was traded to the Washington Capitals/Hershey Bears organizations. Tomas’ most productive season in pro hockey came during the 2012-13 season with Hershey when he recorded 31 points in 49 games and also played 25 games with the Captials in the NHL, scoring once and adding 6 assists.
Currently Kundratek has taken his talents overseas and plays in the Kontinental Hockey League with Bratislava Slovan. This season he was KHL Defenceman of the Week for October 16th and had 13 points in 39 games. Tomas will play for his native Czech Republic in the tournament.
Good luck to both Tomas and Yannic in the tournament. You can catch all the action of Team Canada and the entire tournament by going to http://www.iihfworlds2017.com/