Former Boston Bruins Forward Eyeing NHL Return

Photo via the Athletic

At the IIHF World Championships in Czechia, forward Ondrej Kase has found himself playing for the host country on a power play with former Boston Bruins teammate David Pastrnak. It was a familiarity that Kase has found again after a history of concussion issues that paused his National Hockey League and almost ended it. But at 28 years old, Kase is opening eyes with his play in the tournament and is showing that the 6-foot, 187-pound winger can stay healthy and be a productive hockey player again.

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Kase was a seventh-round NHL draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks in 2014 and has tried to beat the odds ever since. The forward had a breakout 2017-18 season with 20 goals in 66 games but was unable to play at least 50 games the next two seasons due to injury. On February 21, 2020 Kase was traded to Boston but played just nine games in two seasons as concussions kept him out of the lineup. After signing with Toronto in 2021, Kase scored 14 goals in 50 games before being felled by another head injury which forced him to miss time again. The Kadan, Czech Republic native played one game with Carolina the next season and then found himself back home to play for Litvinov HC this past season, where he totaled 54 points in 48 games.

Now Kase is pondering a possible return to the NHL and drawing some “considerable” interest. The 205th pick in 2014 will wait to see what happens after the tournament, but continuing to avoid injury is number one on his list. “It’s still in my head, for sure,” Kaše told The Athletic recently. “I’m not sure after the championship what the situation will be. So we will see with my agent.” Kase has played with a tinted visor this past season to help with sensitivity to light, and has received ongoing treatment from a concussion specialist in Michigan, Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher. 
Kase has a “complex set of neurological variables that needed to be treated comprehensively,” Kutcher told The Athletic via Chris Johnston.

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Kase has registered two goals and three assists in eight World Championship games as Czechia plays in the semifinal round after eliminating the United States Thursday 1-0. When the tournament concludes, hockey fans could see a return to the NHL for Ondrej Kase, something that was extremely unlikely just a year ago.

Season 3. Episode 48. Arbitration Deadline Bruins Benders Podcast

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  1. Season 3. Episode 48. Arbitration Deadline
  2. Season 3. Episode 47. Free Agency Begins
  3. Season 3. Episode 46. Draft Night
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  5. Season 3. Episode 44. Yay Or Nay

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