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Erik Smolka – Interview

All-Star Team of the European University Hockey League (EUHL) is formed in such a way that each coach of the university team can give one vote to a specific player. Erik Smolka, the captain of the silver team in the 2023/2024 season, made it to the All-Star line-up again after a year. He became the most productive player in the regular season and the most productive player in the play-offs.


How do you feel about the fact that after a year you collected again the highest number of points in the EUHL regular season?

I’m glad I made it again. My role in the team is to score goals and collect points, so I’m happy that I can still be useful for the team in this way. The regular season was excellent for us, we did well as a team and I did well in terms of productivity, so I had nothing to complain about. Of course, it is not only my merit, but mainly of the guys I play with in the line. Marcel Škvarka scored goals from every position and I just had to “throw” it to him.


Did you expect to find yourself again in the EUHL All-Star lineup?

I’ll be honest, I forgot that our league always announces the All-Star Team after the season. So, I didn’t even expect it. I’m glad for that, it’s also proof for me that I can still play hockey at the university level.


Will your goal be to lead points ranking in the next season 2024/2025?

It’s hard to predict something like that. New guys will come to the league again, younger guys who have trained more and I’m also a year older again. It would be nice, but I dare not predict it. The main goal is always team success, and those individual ones are just an addition.


What are your ambitions as a team captain of Gladiators Trenčín in the next season?

Here the answer is probably clear. We, as Gladiators Trenčín, always have the highest goal and that is to win the EUHL.


Photo: Tomáš Somr