The Raiders management team are delighted to announce the return for 21-22 of free scoring forward Erik Piatak.
The Slovakian 35 year old will be back for his third season being cheered on by the Gold and Blue as we continue to anticipate unrestricted returns for the fans also. His return is certain to be popular amongst the fan base for the forward that settled well into the team and the area on his arrival appproaching 2 years ago.
Erik joined Raiders for his debut on 27th October 2019 having been in discussions with coach Sean Easton during previous recruitment drives. In the curtailed season Erik quickly built a free scoring double act with linemate Aaron Connolly, ending the season with 21 Goals and 38 Assists for 59 points in 40 games, finishing second in the scoring charts a point behind his linemate. His efforts also saw him win the Coach’s Player of the Year Award.
Erik re-joined the Raiders for the 2021 Spring Cup where after a slow start he ended as the Raiders top scorer with six goals and ten Assists for 16 points in 12 games, including a hat trick in the 6-3 defeat away to the eventual winners (and GB bolstered) Sheffield Steeldogs. Erik’s 75 Raiders points have seen him quickly climb to 78th in the all-time Raiders scoring charts.
Erik had two previous spells in the UK, having played in EPL in season 2013/14 for Peterborough Phantoms where in 51 league appearances, scored 32 goals and picked up 45 assists for a total of 75 points. Erik also started season 2015/16 for Guildford Flames scoring 14 goals with 14 assists for a total of 28 points in 28 games before moving to Hungary.
Erik has played the majority of his career in his native Slovakia, where on four occasions he has been part of Slovakia 2 championship winning teams. Erik has played 315 games in the top tier in Slovakia scoring 29 goals and 50 assists for 79 points primarily for HK SKP Poprad where he graduated from junior hockey. He also played for HS Kosice, HK Nitra and MsHK Zilina.
Erik has also made 171 appearances scoring 63 goals and 130 assists for 193 points in Slovakia 2, winning titles with HC 46 Bardejov in 2011-12 and 2012-13; and for HK Michalovce in seasons 2016-17 and 2017-18 and in the latter season, he was the Top scorer in the play offs with 3+8 for 11 points as his team won promotion to the top division.
Erik also has experience from playing senior hockey in France, Kazakhstan and Hungary after his participation in the World Junior Championships at both under 18 and under 20 level.
Having “tracked his man” for some years Sean Easton is pleased with the return as he explained .
“Erik made an impact straight after his arrival last term. His calmness on the puck helped us to have more offensive zone time and his playmaking abilities make the players around him more dangerous, whilst also creating opportunities of his own..
“Erik is the ultimate professional in the game and his attention to detail and will to win is infectious to the rest of the team.”
Erik is keen to get back to some normal action with fans present:_
“I’m looking forward to being able to continue in the Raiders jersey for the new season, I really appreciate it and do everything to help the team achieve good results. and especially entertaining our fans with good hockey. I’ll see you soon and I hope you are all looking forward to it too!”
Welcome back Erik