BLUE JACKETS SIGN CZECH GOAL SCORING LEADER JAROSLAV BALASTIK
Blue Jackets' 2002 draft pick has led Czech Extraliga in goal scoring the past two seasons
Balastik (pronounced ba-LASH-tihk) has been the top goal scorer in the Czech Extraliga the past two seasons. In 2004-05, he tallied 30-16-46 and 74 penalty minutes in 52 games with Zlin and was named the Czech League's Best Forward. In addition to leading the league in goals, he was tied with Blue Jackets teammate David Vyborny for fifth in points. In 2003-04, he collected 29-18-47 and 54 penalty minutes in 51 outings and was the top goal scorer and ninth-best point producer in the league.
"Jaroslav Balastik has been the most dynamic goal scorer in the Czech Elite League the past two seasons," said MacLean. "He's a big, strong player who has a real knack for finding the net. We think he has a chance to be an impact player."
Balastik, 25, was Columbus' ninth pick, 184th overall, in the 2002 Entry Draft. He has spent most of the past seven seasons playing in the Czech Extraliga, registering 117-98-215 and 242 penalty minutes in 331 games with Zlin. Since 2001-02, he has picked up 98-61-159 in 184 games. He spent part of the 2002-03 season with Hameenlinna in the Finnish Elite League, totaling 5-7-12 and two penalty minutes in 13 contests. Balastik also played for the Czech Republic at the 1999 World Junior Championships and the 2003 World Championships.
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