Grabner, Vanek & Visnovsky Named To Olympic Teams
Islanders Represent Their Countries At Winter Olympic Games In Sochi
The Austrian Ice Hockey Association has announced that Islanders forwards Michael Grabner and Thomas Vanek were named to the Austrian Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky has also been named to the Slovakian Olympic squad.
Grabner, 26, represented his country at a World Junior Championship (2005) and two World Under-18 Junior Championships (2004, 2005), and is a first-time Olympian. Claimed off waivers from the Florida Panthers on October 3, 2010, the Islanders forward has 128 points (80 goals, 48 assists) in 259 career NHL games. Grabner, a native of Villach, Austria, was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the first round, 14th overall, of the 2006 NHL Draft.
Vanek, 29, represented Austria at three World Junior Championships (2002, 2003, 2004) and four World Championships (2004, 2008, 2009, 2013), and is a first-time Olympian. The Vienna, Austria native has played nine NHL seasons, totaling 524 points (265 goals, 259 assists) with a plus-35 rating in 626 career games. The Sabres selected Vanek in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft, making him the highest selected Austrian hockey player in league history. The Islanders acquired Vanek via trade on October 27, 2013.
Visnovsky, 37, represented Slovakia at four Winter Olympics (2010, 2006, 2002, 1998), totaling eight points (three goals, five assists) in 19 games. The Topolcany, Slovakia, native was also a member of the Slovakian National Team at the 1996 and 2004 World Cups of Hockey, and at nine World Championships (2011, 2008, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999, 1997, 1996) and two World Junior Championships (1996, 1995). He won a gold medal in 2002, silver in 2000 and bronze in 2003. The Islanders acquired Visnovsky from the Anaheim Ducks on June 22, 2012. The Los Angeles Kings selected Visnovsky in the fourth round, 188th overall, of the 2000 NHL Draft.