Marek Svatos, who played 102 games in the American Hockey League with the Hershey Bears before skating with the Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators and Ottawa Senators in the NHL, died Saturday at the age of 34.
Drafted by Colorado in 2001, Svatos spent his first pro season with Hershey in 2002-03, collecting nine goals and four assists in 30 games. He returned to the Bears in 2004-05 and ranked fourth on the team in scoring with 46 points (18 goals, 28 assists) in 72 contests.
Svatos went on to compile 100 goals and 72 assists in 344 NHL games, including career highs of 32 goals and 50 points in 2005-06 in his first season out of the AHL.
“Marek was a tremendous person, a talented hockey player and a great teammate,” Avalanche executive vice president and general Manager Joe Sakic said in a statement. “Our thoughts, prayers and our deepest sympathy to his wife, children and his entire family.”
A native of Kosice, Slovakia, Svatos represented his country at the 2006 Olympics in Turin.