SPORTS BRIEFS

Two Slovaks taken in first round of NHL draft

The New York Islanders used two of their four first-round selections in the 1999 NHL draft to choose Slovaks- tenth overall pick Branislav Mezei and 28th overall selection Kristián Kudroč.

The top player selected overall was Patrik Štefan, a Czech native who went to the newly-formed Atlanta Thrashers.

Mezei, a 193 cm, 99 kilogram defenceman, was born in 1980 and played for Belleville of the OHL last year. Kudroč, also a defender (198 cm/104 Kg) was born in Michalovce in 1981 and spent last year with hometown club VTJ Michalovce.

Overall, 11 Slovaks were chosen by NHL teams in the draft, joining the 12 who already play in the big leagues.

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