Branislav Mezei : biography
Branislav Mezei (born October 8, 1980 in Nitra, Czechoslovakia) is a Slovak professional ice hockey player. Mezei is a defenceman currently with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg of the KHL. Mezei has previous played in the National Hockey League (NHL) with the New York Islanders and Florida Panthers. Mezei also played for Barys Astana and HC Plzen of the KHL, and Espoo Blues of the SM-liiga. Mezei was a first-round pick of the Islanders in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, tenth overall.
Mezei moved to Canada to play junior hockey with the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League. Mezei played three seasons with the Bulls from 1997 until 2000. After his second season, he was drafted tenth-overall by the New York Islanders. He joined the Islanders organization in 2000. Mezei played two seasons in the Islanders organization, including 66 games with the Islanders, before being traded to the Florida Panthers in July 2002. He was a member of the Panthers from 2002 until 2008, playing a further 178 games. During the 2004–05 lockout, Mezei played for Trinec Ocelari HC and HK Dukla Trenčín. In 2008, Mezei moved to Europe to play with Barys Astana of the KHL. He has since played for Espoo Blues, HC Plzen, HC Pardubice and Lev Poprad.
He has also played with the Slovak national ice hockey team in Ice Hockey World Championships in 2001, 2004 and 2008.
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