After two seasons away, Raiders are happy to welcome back 29 year old Blaho Novak to Romford, for a third season in Gold and Blue. Blaho returns to Raiders after two seasons coaching in Norway.
#89 Blaho, who hails from Slovakia, qualifies as a British player as a result of his time in the Chelmsford Junior Ice Hockey system.
After playing in the junior system at the Riverside, Blaho made his Chieftains debut in 2009, where he scored 21 goals and 35 assists for 56 points in 35 games. He then moved back to Slovakia and played the next three seasons in the Slovak Under-20 league playing for HC Trnava before two seasons for Slovan Bratislava. He made a total of 156 league and play-off appearances in Slovakia scoring 51 goals and 65 assists for 116 points.
He returned to the UK in 2014 to join Telford Tigers in the EPL, in two seasons making 106 appearances scoring 33 goals and 34 assists for 67 points, winning EPL League and Cup in his second season.
In 2016 Blaho played in Norway for Moss scoring 3 goals and 6 assists for 9 points in a team that suffered relegation. The following season, Blaho was back in Slovakia playing in Division 2 for HC Topolcany , scoring 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points in 51 appearances for a team that finished in fourth place in the league and lost in the play-off semi-finals.
In his two seasons at Raiders, Blaho has made 94 appearances, scoring 44 goals and 46 points for 90 points (ranked 66th in Raider all-time scoring) and picking up 275 minutes in penalties.
For the past two seasons Blaho has been travelling to Norway where he has been coaching a junior side in Moss to great effect and Raiders are delighted that he will bring his high intensity game back to Romford as he combines coaching in Norway and playing in the UK whenever his coaching commitments allow.
Coach Sean Easton is happy Blaho is back:-
“It is good to see Blaho back to finish what he started with Raiders after his last season was cut short by Covid.
“He plays hard, quite close to the line, maybe over the line occasionally but always plays with his heart on his sleeve.
“Even though he will not be with us for 100% of games this season he will make us better when he is able to play.”
Blaho is keen to get back to Romford:-
“I’m really looking forward to put the Raiders jersey back on whenever possible this upcoming season. I cannot commit 100% since I will still be coaching in Norway but I am sure we will figure out the best possible way.
“I have been on ice a lot since my move to the Northern territories and I feel good to jump on the ice and do the job. It has been some time since I last skated at the Sapphire and I look forward to giving my best to help out and bring a competetive spirit with me.
“Gold and Blue be as loud as always and look forward to seeing you all!”
Welcome back Blaho!