Former Bomber Turns Pro
(Photo by Mark Mauno, WSHL)
Tomáš Urbanec did not play for the Barrhead Bombers, but his presence in the organization was a massive one when the club was located in Long Beach, Calif. Long time head coach and current agent, Chris White, remembers watching the young player from his early teenage years.
“I would be lying if I didn’t say this announcement is a little extra special. I have had the pleasure of watching Tomáš work hard, develop, adapt, produce, and dream, since he was 15 years old. He is an elite goal scorer, who possesses such a unique release. He has the potential, work ethic, and talent to reach the highest level of hockey in Czech Republic. I think HC Dukla Jihlava is going to be very happy with this signing, and will be rewarded greatly for taking a risk on a young player that has been overseas for a very long time. This was a very fair contract offer, and one that I think will pay off well for both player and club."
Six years in the Western States Hockey League has earned Urbanec a spot on a pro roster in his native country of Czech Republic. The WSHL alum spent the length of five seasons with the Long Beach Bombers Hockey Club, prior to stints with Las Vegas and El Paso in 2019-2020.
Urbanec culminated his junior career as the WSHL All-Time Leader in points, goals, and games played, making him one of the more decorated athletes in WSHL history. And that's not including various club records to his name as a former member of the Bombers—Among accolades includes four division championships.
Urbanec's final junior career stat line of 266GP-173G-215A-388PTS illustrates the severity of his game and the nightmare opponents faced. His new club will find him to be a useful part of the arsenal.
The Zlín native will be taking his talents to HC Dukla Jihlava in Czech 1.Liga. The skillful rookie enters his first year of professional hockey following an unfortunate end to what was a final shot at the Thorne Cup Championship.
"Jihlava is located between Prague and Brno, a few hours northwest of Urbanec’s hometown of Zlín. Last season, HC Dukla Jihlava finished with a record of 31-16, good for 3rd-most points in the league. Recently dubbed the Chance liga, it is the second-highest professional league in Czech Republic."
After more than half a decade in the palm tree ridden, desert region of the USA, Urbanec shifts back to a much different climate, but it's the same example of how multiple years in the WSHL can prepare you for a professional opportunity anywhere in the world.