Whatever Happened To That Dude?

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Written By: #theullmanbrosband

Patrik Stefan, Center, Atlanta Thrashers/Dallas Stars

Patrik Stefan was born on September 16, 1980 in PříbramCzechoslovakia. Stefan’s professional hockey career began in 1996, when he began playing for the Czech Extraligia’s (ELH) HC Sparta Praha. During his two seasons with HC Sparta, he played a total of 39 games, with a 3-7-10 score sheet. It was during his second season with HC Sparta, that Stefan committed to playing for the Long Beach Ice Dogs of the IHL. In his second season with the IceDogs, Stefan was averaging a point per game, unfortunately for him, his season was stopped twice because of concussions.

“I woke up in the hospital, both times”

Patrik Stefan on his two concussions in the IHL

In the 1999 Entry Level draft, the Vancouver Canucks had the first and third overall pick, with brand new franchise, the Atlanta Thrashers, holding the second pick. Canucks GM Brian Burke very much wanted to select the Sedin Twins as a pair and knowing that the Thrashers wanted to select Patrik Stefan with the second pick, flipped the #1 overall pick for the #2 overall pick. With the number 1 overall pick of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft the Atlanta Thrashers selected Patrik Stefan, center from the Czech Republic. This was not only Atlanta’s first #1 overall pick, but this was also Atlanta’s first draft pick period. Owner Ted Turner, and Patrik himself were incredibly pleased with the pick.

“I’m the first pick for them ever,” he says. “It was all very, very exciting. I was pretty fired up.”

Patrik Stefan on being the 1st Overall Pick in 1999

Stefan struggled with injuries throughout his entire 7-year career, only reaching the 82-game mark once. After six seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers, he was traded to the Dallas Stars, with Jaroslav Modry for Nikko Kapanen and a 7th Round Pick. It was here, in his 7th and final NHL that something happened to Stefan, that is perhaps what he is most famous for.

Patrik Stefan misses the empty net. January 4, 2007

Fortunately for Stefan, the Stars still managed to win the game in a shootout. At the end of the 2007 season, Stefan’s contract expired, and the Dallas Stars chose not to re-sign him. The 2007-2008 season found him playing in Nationalliga A, Sweden’s National League, for the SC Bern.  Unfortunately, due to a nagging hip injury, he only played 3 games for SC Bern before retiring from playing professional hockey.

Following his hockey career, Patrik Stefan and his family moved to Birmingham, Michigan, a small suburb of Detroit, where he and his wife, Carolyn, raised two boys James and Wyatt. Here, he worked as a player agent, representing most notably Pavel Zacha. He also coached his son, James in the U15 Little Caeser’s league.

Currently, Stefan is the Head Coach of NAHL’s Danbury (CT) Jr. Hattricks, where he coaches his son Wyatt.










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