Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Jaroslav Jirik
A talented right winger with a natural scoring touch, Jaroslav Jirik was the first player from an Eastern Bloc country to play in the NHL. When he suited up for three games with the St. Louis Blues in 1969-70, Jirik was an experienced international competitor who was granted permission by the Czechoslovakian authorities to sample the NHL.

Born in Vojnur Mestac, Czechoslovakia, Jirik represented his country at five World Championships in the 1960s as well as the 1964 and 1968 Olympics. His medal haul at the World tournament consisted of three bronze medals and two silver. Jirik helped Czechoslovakia win a bronze at the Innsbruck Games in 1964 and a silver in Grenoble four years later. His finest individual performance came at the 1965 World Championships when he registered 12 points in seven matches.

Jirik signed as a free agent with the St. Louis Blues in June 1969. He played three games in 1969-70 before being sent down to Kansas City of the CHL where he felt more comfortable, registering 35 points in 53 games. Following the season he retired as a player, his unique place in history unassailable.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1951-1957 SONP Kladno Jr. Czech-Jr.
1957-58 Banik Kladno Czech
1958-59 SONP Kladno Czech 22 16 16
1958-59 Czechoslovakia WC-A 8 6 2 8
1959-60 SONP Kladno Czech
1959-60 Czechoslovakia Olympics 5 1 3 4 2
1960-61 SONP Kladno Czech
1961-62 Ruda Hvezda Brno Czech 32 28 28
1962-63 ZKL Brno Czech 32 23 23
1962-63 Czechoslovakia WEC-A 7 4 3 7 9
1963-64 ZKL Brno Czech
1963-64 Czechoslovakia Olympics 7 3 1 4 6
1964-65 ZKL Brno Czech 32 23 23
1964-65 Czechoslovakia WEC-A 7 8 4 12 5
1965-66 ZKL Brno Czech
1965-66 Czechoslovakia WEC-A 7 4 1 5 2
1966-67 ZKL Brno Czech
1966-67 Czechoslovakia WEC-A 6 5 3 8 2
1967-68 ZKL Brno Czech 32 25 12 37
1967-68 Czechoslovakia Olympics 4 3 3 6 0
1968-69 ZKL Brno Czech 36 36 7 43
1968-69 Czechoslovakia WEC-A 5 2 3 5 0
1969-70 St. Louis Blues NHL 3 0 0 0 0 +1
1969-70 Kansas City Blues CHL 53 19 16 35 11
1970-71 ZKL Brno Czech 36 26 12 38
1971-72 ZKL Brno Czech
1972-73 ZKL Brno Czech
1973-74 ZKL Brno Czech 8 7 15
1974-75 ZKL Brno Czech
NHL Totals 3 0 0 0 0


WEC-A All-Star Team (1965) Signed as a free agent by St. Louis,September 11, 1969.
First player from Iron Curtain country to play in NHL.
Played 17 seasons in Czechoslovakian Premier League (13 w/ Brno and 4 w/ Kladno) scoring a total of 300 goals in 450 games.
Only goals and games played totals available for 1958-59; 1961-62; 1962-63 and 1964-65 seasons.