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.