- Published: Sunday, 28 July 2013 01:05
Jan Muršak (born January 20, 1988) is a professional Slovenian ice hockey forward currently playing for Amur of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). Muršak first played hockey in Slovenia as a member of HDK Maribor before he left to spend one season in the Czech junior league. He was then selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and moved to the major junior Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and played for two teams, the Saginaw Spirit and Belleville Bulls. After finishing his junior career Muršak then joined the Red Wings American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2008.
European career and juniors
Muršak developed his skills in his hometown ice hockey club HDK Maribor where he played until the age of 17. He then transferred to Czech club HC Ceské Budejovice for which he played for a season in CZE-U20 youth development league.
In 2006 he was selected by the Detroit Red Wings as the 182nd overall draft pick (6th round). During the same year Muršak was drafted by the Saginaw Spirit in 1st Round of the 2006 CHL Import Draft, 33rd overall. He had a successful first season for Saginaw which earned him a playoff call up for the Grand Rapids Griffins, AHL affiliate to the Detroit Red Wings. In his second OHL season, Muršak was traded from the Saginaw Spirit, to the Belleville Bulls where he stayed until the end of the season, before moving on to play regularly for Grand Rapids in the AHL.
Detroit Red Wings
Muršak signed a contract with the Detroit Red Wings in April 2007. Since his draft in 2006 he has made appearances for the Red Wings during training camps. On December 26, 2010 it was announced by Detroit that Muršak was called up to the team to fill in after an ankle injury of Danny Cleary. He made his NHL career debut on December 28, 2010 in a game against the Colorado Avalanche, thus becoming the second Slovenian, after Anže Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings, to play in the NHL. Muršak scored his first NHL goal on January 10, 2011, also in a game against the Avalanche against Peter Budaj. On 17 February 2011, Muršak signed a new two-year contract with the Red Winngs.
Due to the 2012 NHL lockout, Muršak signed a temporary contract with the Slovenian hockey team HDD Olimpija Ljubljana of the EBEL league. In 30 games with Olimpija, he excelled with 48 points, before returning for the start of the shortened 2012–13 season with the Red Wings. On opening night, he was again setback by injury, after hurting his collarbone in a 6-0 defeat against the St. Louis Blues. On his return to health, and with limited opportunity with the Red Wings, Muršak was placed on waivers on February 22, 2013. He subsequently moved to Amur Khabarovsk of the Kontinental Hockey League. Now playing for CSKA Moscow.
Muršak was chosen to compete on the Slovenia national junior team in the 2008 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships (Division I) in Latvia, where he scored one goal and two assists and was named the best forward of the tournament. He made his debut for the Slovenian senior team at the 2010 Division I Championships, held in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana. In 2014, Jan Muršak represented Slovenia at their first appearance at the Olympics in Sochi.