Extraliga regular season winner HC Mountfield Ceske Budejovice has announced just four signings for next season so far. Most notable: Three of them are Czech players returning from abroad.
19-year-old netminder Jakub Kovar returns to the team he left two years ago. He played last season with Oshawa and Windsor in the Canadian junior league OHL. Kovar will be the back-up behind NHL veteran Roman Turek. After failing to make an impression in Canada, Kovar accepted the call from Ceske Budejovice. He played for the Czech Republic at the 2007 and 2008 IIHF World U20 Championship.
In Radek Duda, Ceske Budejovice acquired a true power forward. The 29-year-old has a solid track record in the Czech Extraliga. With league rivals Slavia Prague, he totalled 64 points in 79 games in his last two seasons. Duda is also known for his physical play including a whopping 158 penalty minutes in 2006. Enriched by experiences in Russia, Sweden and Finland, the forward returns to the Czech Republic after ending last season in Switzerland with EHC Basel.
Third returnee is 26-year-old Ivan Huml. The Kladno native was drafted by Boston in the 2nd round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft but managed just 49 NHL games with that team (18 points). After two seasons with HC Kladno, Huml left for Scandinavia where he played for TPS Turku (Finland) and Mora IK (Sweden).
Ceske Budejovice qualified for the 2008-2009 CHL after winning the regular season and will play in a group with Slovan Bratislava and Salavat Yulayev Ufa.