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Note: My recent prospect features have been very heavy on Euro and American content. I feel that most Canadians get a pretty steady diet of information on the top Canadian juniors and prospects from our sports media. With that in mind, I am trying to go off the path a little to highlight some exceptional talents from around the world.

Both of these young Slovaks are named Juraj Mikus. (The left one is the older, former Canadiens prospect) They are about a year about in age and are/were prospects in the NHL. I had heard some buzz about Juraj Mikus the forward playing on a line with Ziggy Pallfy in the Slovakian league and thought he might be a good feature for Prospect Pulse. About 20 minutes into researching this post, I realized there was double the fun. Here goes:

Juraj Mikus the Elder, originally taken in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens (4th Round, 121st overall), came over to play in North America last year and ended up with decent point totals despite a slow start. Despite the more than point a game clip, the Canadiens declined to sign him, citing too many forward prospects in their system. The right shooting forward had a strong draft year campaign, leading the Slovak team in scoring at the World Junior Championships. He is playing this year with Skalica of the Slovak Extraleague.

Taken in nearly the same spot (5th Round, 134th overall) by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Mikus the Younger is a talented offensive rearguard who put up very good numbers in the Slovak junior league. The 6’4, 185 defender posted a solid +32 rating, but needs to fill out his frame in order to advance to the next level. Expected to stay in Slovakia to develop, internet scouting reports on him are sketchy and/or unreliable because of the other Mikus. Even Hockey’s Future has the wrong picture and stats up for him. He is expected to play this year with Dukla Trencin in the Slovak Junior League.

News You Can Use in the Late Morning:

-Lightning forward Tim Taylor likely finished after hip surgery.

Colby Cosh with a post linking pre-season success to regular season wins. (Hat tip, Mirtle)

-Pens and Sabres to play an outdoor game.

-The Leafs’ Paul Maurice predicts the playoffs for the Leafs. They were pretty close last year, and with the steps backward taken by the Islanders, its certainly possible.

Interesting notes on off-season training.

-Profile on Oilers prospect Chris Van de Velde. The Oilers hope he builds upon last years’ strong second half.

-Sens’ prospect Jim O’Brien has not changed his mind about the pro game.

-Cujo waiting for the phone to ring.

-Mike Comrie plays grab-ass with Hilary Duff. Maybe she is after the Brick fortune? Little Mikey should watch out, at only 19, she has been passed around by more than her share of emo rockers.

Panthers ink Noah Welch.

5 Rookies to watch at Leaf’s camp.

Killer named one of the assistant coaches for the Spengler Cup. Maybe there are some 14 year old babysitters in Switzerland.

5 Players on the bubble at Leafs’ camp.

-Arnott named Predators captain.

-An update on the Wickenheiser playing with men story.

-The Kings’ Derek Armstrong is willing to play any role on the revamped roster.

-The Ducks’ Bobby Ryan ready for a fresh start.

Hints and tips on how to select a hockey stick. (Hat tip, Kukla)

Hawks open camp today.

-Ducks-Kings Game Day Preview.

-A heated battle to back up Kipper.

-A couple of brief profiles of Caps’ prospects.]

-Wes Goldstein with a preview of the Central and Northeast divisions.

-Lightning players look for ways to escape Camp Torturella.

-Lightning training camp lines.

For Illegal Curve, I’m Kyle Kosior