Rastislav Stana was born January 10, 1980 in Kosice, Slovakia. The seventh round, 193rd overall selection of the Washington Capitals in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Stana honed his skills in Slovakia before coming to North America in the fall of 1998.
Upon his arrival in North America, Stana joined the WHL's Moose Jaw Warriors and played parts of two seasons with the team before being acquired by the Calgary Hitmen during the 99-2000 season. A member of the WHL's Second All-Star Team in 1998-99, Stana finished his junior career with a 38-25-2 record before making his professional debut with the ECHL's Richmond Renegades during the 2000-01 season.
Following a year with Richmond, Stana went on to play the better part of the next three seasons with the AHL's Portland Pirates, while making his NHL debut with Washington during the 2003-04.
A member of Slovakia's World Junior team (2000), Stana is also a five-time member of Slovakia's World Championship team (2001-2005), its 2002 Winter Olympic team and its 2004 World Cup of Hockey team.