Memorial Cup: Jan Mysak, a workaholic

SAINT-JEAN, NB | Today is May 25th. The Hamilton Bulldogs take a 3-0 lead in the OHL semifinals with a 6-4 win over the North Bay Battalion. Despite everything, Jan Mysak is not satisfied.

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The Canadian’s hope believes he hasn’t played enough that night and he wants more. Outside, the rain is falling on Hamilton.

“He wanted to run home,” recalls Bulldogs head coach Jay McKee. We let him because he wanted more. He felt like he hadn’t played enough that night. He’s the guy who always goes the extra mile.”

This streak came as no surprise to either McKee or the rest of the Bulldogs staff.

“He did us a lot of good, especially at the beginning of the season. He came here and he was one of our best off the ice. It takes a lot of pride to prepare well every day. […] I’ve seen him climb stairs before ankle weight games. He’s a model and that’s why he wears an A on his sweater. He’s an incredible player in the dressing room, especially in building the culture of the Hamilton Bulldogs.”

“I’ve always been like that, even in the Czech Republic,” adds the middle player. For me it’s a way to feel good after the game and prepare for the next one.”

REWARDING EXPERIENCE

Mysak, the Canadians’ second-round pick in the 2020 draft, got an earlier-than-expected taste of North American professional hockey last year when he played 22 games during the season for the Laval Rocket. The OHL was canceled due to the pandemic.

“It was a great experience. It allowed me to see that I had to keep working to get stronger, bigger and faster. The next level is a different world. I learned a lot about how to be in the gym and on the rink works well, eats well and has professional habits.

If he was able to gain experience on the bench last year, the Canadian’s last camp was really revealing for the center player.

“I noticed that I had to work a lot on my defensive game because it was a big gap for me against good players. It was difficult to fight back against them. For example, when we played Toronto, Mitch Marner was in the lineup and when he ran in the offensive zone, it was difficult for me to know who the player I was marking was.

TO FIND CONSTANCE

For Jay McKee, one of the things his number 19 needs to improve on if he wants to make a career in the pros is his consistency.

“Offensively, he can score points over several games and then fade away a bit. He’s also a very proud boy and maybe he’s being too hard on himself. Sometimes he needs to relax a bit and just play. Without saying he’s a perfectionist, let’s say he always expects the best from himself. Which isn’t a bad thing. He has the character of a champion.”

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