JANESVILLE, WI — Jets alum Adrian Holesinsky, a member of the Jets roster during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, became the first Jet to play in the Winter Olympics. A bonus for the former Jet was that he was a part of a historic run for Team Slovakia, who took home bronze following a 4-0 win over Team Sweden. It’s the Slovaks first-ever Olympic medal since they became an independent nation in 1993.
Holesinsky played two seasons wearing the Jets crest on his sweater and made his commitment to play Division I hockey with the University of Maine in his final season in January of 2017. In his two years as a Jet, Holesinsky scored 20 goals and had 46 assists for 66 total points in 56 games played. In the 2016 NAHL Robertson Cup Playoffs, the Slovak had two goals and three assists in four games.
Following his time in the United States, Holesinsky returned to Slovakia to play for HK Nitra of the Tipos Extraliga, the highest-level ice hockey league in Slovakia. In 2009, it was ranked by the IIHF as the fifth strongest league in Europe, and in 2012, it was ranked by The Hockey News as the sixth-strongest league in the world behind the NHL, KHL, Swedish Hockey League, SM-liiga, and Czech Extraliga. Holesinsky recorded 24 points in 39 games in his first season.
His second year with HK Nitra has been very productive; in 30 games, Holesinsky has 33 points and is a +16 on the year. The Jets alum then reported to Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympic games to represent Slovakia. The Slovaks defeated Team Germany on Valentine’s Day 4-0 in the first round of Playoff Qualifiers, then bounced Team USA 3-2 in a dramatic shootout. Slovakian goaltender Patrik Rybár stopped all five USA shooters, and Peter Cehlarik scored the only goal to help Team Slovakia move on.
After falling to Team Finland in the semifinals, Slovakia eventually met with Team Sweden in the Bronze Medal Game. A scoreless first started the contest, but the Slovaks hit the gas in the final forty and held the Swedes scoreless, winning 4-0 to cement themselves in history as the first Slovakian hockey team to medal at the Olympics.
Slovakia received just two medals at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Their only other was a gold medal in Alpine Skiing, earned by Petra Vlhova in the Women’s Slalom. To say that the hockey medal was a big moment for Holesinsky, the team, and the nation would be a great understatement. Regardless of whether NHL talent is present at the games, medaling at the Olympics, in any sport, subcategory or event is difficult enough, and it’s an accomplishment that will stay with Holesinsky and in Jets history until the next former Jet steps to the plate in the Winter Games.
100+ NCAA commitments since 2009.