Opole HK is the first Play Safe Stay Safe program designed for players during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is based in Opole Poland, in a controlled housing, training, and competitive environment, playing in Poland’s top junior league.
It is the first program of its kind based in Europe, designed on North American training practices.
So why would players want to go all the way to Poland to play this season? We asked Defenseman Dominic Houle a few questions;
What was the most important thing in your mind when you decided to commit to playing for Opole HK this season?
The most important thing on my mind while making my decision to play in Poland was where would I get to play a full season of hockey and where I would be able to develop and have a very positive experience.
Other than the competition in Poland’s highest junior league what are you looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to playing on a larger ice surface, I think that it will push me to improve my skating and test how well I’m able to adapt to different scenarios. Outside of hockey I’m really looking forward to exploring the culture and history of Poland.
Gaining international experience can be valuable when scouts look at players. Did that factor into your decision to play for Opole HK?
It absolutely did, I believe that having this experience on my hockey resume will attract lots of attention and open doors for my future.
What are your long term goals with hockey and how does playing for Opole HK help you reach those goals?
I would like to play hockey at the highest level possible and I believe that playing in Poland will open new doors and give me opportunities to play more in Europe and take my career further in Europe and North America.
Traveling and playing in Europe really is a once in a life time experience for most players. If there is one place you can visit in Europe while you are there, where would it be?
A place that I really want to travel to is Finland or Sweden, they are both beautiful places with so much to see.