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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

It's Official: You Can Now Buy Your Very Own Borna Rendulic NHL Jersey

I saw this on Yahoo sports this morning, so I might as well share the news too. It is another historic moment after all, and I said before that I would update this story when Borna Rendulic officially puts on a Colorodo Avalanche jersey and plays in his first official regular season game. For those not in the know, there have been players in the NHL with Croatian roots before Borna, (Joe Sakic, Frank Mahovlich, Marc-Édouard Vlasic and others) and even a player with Croatian roots who was actually even born in Croatia, (that being Swiss-Croatian Goran Bezina, but he played only 3 games with the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2003 season)...

Youtube screenshot.

...But Borna Rendulic is now officially the first home-grown Croatian hockey player to play in the NHL who started off playing through and is the product of the Croatian hockey league system. It's different playing systems and rink size now, and the Colorodo Avalanche are not the same star packed teams of the 1996-2001 Avalanche teams, so he's going to have to show his stuff and make things happen on the ice without that advantage. Obviously he's not going to just jump in and instantly become another Joe Sakic or Frank Mahovlich, Hall of Famers like that don't come around very often, (that's why they're in the Hall of Fame after all), however hopefully he will continue to keep putting Croatian hockey on the map and find his niche. So there you go, another Croatan sports milestone and now you can go and get your Borna Rendulic hockey jersey if you are so inclined.

(Come to think of it, you see, so now if you walk into your local watering hole wearing his jersey, and the guy next to you at the bar who's watching the hockey game on the tv (you know, that guy who's cracking peanuts and sipping his watery frothy ale says, peanut shells all on the floor, he says... "Ohhh, did you see that Rendulic wrist shot, great goal, that's the new [Czech, Slovak, Russian, Estonian, Slovenian or Finnish etc)..player they got this year eh?..then you can say, "Yeah, he's got a good wristshot and he's actually Croatian, btw pull out your snot rag and wipe the cumstains from around your mouth and shirt, I'm gonna order something to eat soon".)

Anyway, you can check out the related links and previous posts at the bottom for much more information.

Related: what-do-you-call-cock-sucker-nhl-milan-lucic

Who is Borna Rendulic, the NHL's first Croatian national?


There was some history made when the Colorado Avalanche hosted the Nashville Predators Tuesday night. Thanks to injuries ravaging their lineup, the Avs recalled 22-year old forward Borna Rendulic, who they signed over the summer.

After spending the first two months of the season with Colorado’s AHL affiliate in Lake Erie, Rendulic made his NHL debut against the Predators, becoming the first Croatian national to ever play in the NHL. (Goran Bezina, who was born in Split when the Republic of Croatia was temporarily a part of the former-Yugoslav regime, became the first Croatian-born player in the NHL in 2003.)

Rendulic spent the last two seasons with HPK in Finland’s Liiga, scoring 19 times and recording 42 points in 94 games. He had four goals and seven points in 21 games with the Monsters this season. He becomes the 34th player the Avalanche have used this season, with 134 man-games lost to injury entering Tuesday night.

And he’s got some hands, as he displayed last month against the Utica Comets:

Growing up in Zagreb, Rendulic idolized Wayne Gretzky, and later Alex Ovechkin. He would join Croatia’s Medvescak Zagreb (Zagreb Bears) when he was 15 before moving to Finland two years later. In a July interview with Eurolanche, he explained how he got started in the sport:

"No one special inspired me. I just started to train hockey when I was six, some coaches in Zagreb saw me skating on the Šalata rink and they invited me to play hockey. When I started to train, it turned out that I was very talented, so then I decided to continue with hockey. I was also very good at football (soccer) and since I knew I wanted to become an athlete, hockey was my number one choice and it has outweighted football, and that’s why I decided to become a hockey player."

After speaking with Avalanche Director of Player Development David Oliver, Rendulic decided on Colorado, joining the team where Joe Sakic, who is of Croatian descent, is a legend.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy

Borna had a good chance to score in the 2nd period but his quick shot hit the post. (I mentioned how probably people will screw up his name, but at least she pronounced Croatian correctly)

A nice goal from a few weeks ago while playing on the Colorado AHL farm team, the Lake Erie Monsters. 

Not the best video footage, but scoring his first goal for the Zagreb Bears in Zagreb.

Scoring a shootout goal for Finnish club HPK.























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