|Jiri Bubla first played for the Czechoslovakian National Team at the World Championships in 1971 and was a member of the Czech team that beat the Soviet Union at the world tournament the following year. He represented his country at the World Championships through 1979, earning gold medals again in 1976 and 1977. Bubla was named a tournament all-star in 1978 and both an all-star and the best defenseman in 1979. He also played in the Olympics at Innsbruck in 1976 (silver medal) and at Lake Placid in 1980. Bubla was a member of the Czechoslovakian team that reached the finals of the first Canada Cup tournament in 1976.
Bubla was claimed by the Colorado Rockies in a Special Czechoslovakian NHL Entry Draft in 1981, but his rights were traded to the Vancouver Canucks. He made his NHL debut in Vancouver in 1981-82 and spent five seasons with the club.