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Des Moines Adds Forward Fafrak and Defenseman Starikov

By Ben Gislason, 01/10/19, 2:15PM CST

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DES MOINES, IA - Des Moines has added forward Milos Fafrak (1999) and defenseman Lev Starikov (2000) to the active roster.

Fafrak is fresh off of representing his home country Slovakia at the 2019 World Junior Championship in Vancouver.

“Fafrak brings experience, skill and size to our lineup,” GM Tom Mannino said. “He competes hard and uses his body well. We are excited to welcome him to the Buccaneers Organization."

Last season, Fafrak played for the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL After being selected by them in the 1st round of the CHL Import Draft. This year he started the 2018 season playing for HK Orange 20 of the Slovak Extraliga where he was leading their team in scoring with 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points in 34 games before being acquired by the Bucs.

The Russian born Starikov comes to Des Moines from the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL. He was most recently rated a B skater by NHL Central Scouting Players to Watch List which indicates a potential 2nd/3rd round candidate.

“He's shown development and is starting to find his identity,” said NHL Central Scouting in an article on NHL.com. “He displays manipulative maneuverability and hesitations in his feet and body to shake checking pressure. He moves well for his size."

The defenseman stands at a towering six-foot-seven, can transition well and makes smart decisions along the blue line. He is eligible for the NHL Draft this year in Vancouver alongside fellow Buccaneers Kirby Proctor, Tyler Paquette, Brady Meyer.

“Like Fafrak, Starikov brings size, smarts and playoff experience to our lineup,” Mannino said. “Lev’s ability to think the game and utilize his shot are traits that we are excited about. We look forward to his impact in our lineup as well as developing him to play at the highest level.” 

There will be three chances to see the new Buccaneers this weekend, which includes recently acquired Michael Mancinelli and Urbandale, IA native Noah Ellis who has been called up for this three-game stretch.

They begin with a pair of games in Lincoln against the Stars on Thursday and Friday. They’ll wrap up the weekend at home on Saturday versus the Omaha Lancers where it’s Superhero Night at Buccaneer Arena.

Ellis will wear #25, Fafrak will wear #9, Starikov will wear #71 and Mancinelli will wear #15.