|5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
175 lb (80 kg)
St. John Flames
|Born||June 11, 1980,|
|NHL Draft||116th overall, 2001|
|Pro Career||1996 – present|
Levente Szuper (born June 11, 1980 in Budapest, Hungary) is a Hungarian ice hockey goaltender, currently playing for the Arizona Sundogs of the Central Hockey League. He was the number one goalie of the Hungarian team which won promotion to the 2009 World championship.
Szuper began playing hockey in Hungary at an early age, but also showed a flair for the arts. He became an accomplished actor and pianist, but it was between the pipes that he began to achieve prominence. He starred with Ferencvárosi TC as a 16-year-old and led the team to its last domestic title so far. He moved on to the junior team of the Krefeld Pinguine for the 1997–98 season, and had a stellar performance in the 1998 Pool C World Championships.
Moving to North-America
Despite his success in Europe, Szuper was pretty unknown when he broke into the Ontario Hockey League in 1998 with the Ottawa 67s. But over the course of the 1998–99 season, Szuper excelled in the net, although he split his time there with Seamus Kotyk. The 67s advanced to the 1999 Memorial Cup as the host team, then defeated the Belleville Bulls in the semifinals to advance to the Memorial Cup championship against the Calgary Hitmen. Ottawa prevailed 7–6 in overtime, and Szuper won the F. W. "Dinty" Moore Trophy as the best rookie goalie of the year.
Szuper wasn't picked in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, so he returned to Ottawa and continued to star. He was then drafted by the Calgary Flames in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft in the 4th round (#116 overall). Szuper would play the next three seasons with the Saint John Flames of the American Hockey League, earning a Calder Cup championship for the 2000–01 season. His 8 career shutouts is a record in the history of the now defunct franchise, topping the likes of Jean-Sébastien Giguère or Dwayne Roloson.
During the 2002–03 season, Szuper was called up to the NHL with Calgary due to an injury of starting netminder Roman Turek. Szuper dressed for 9 games as the backup for Jamie McLennan, but never played. He is the first Hungarian native to appear on an active NHL roster for a game, but does not appear in the NHL register since he wasn't given any icetime.
Return to Europe
After the year in Peoria, he tried to find a team in Europe for the lockout season of 2004. He had a trial with the Eisbären Berlin, but suffered an injury which demolished his chances of getting a contract. He played for Dunaújváros in the Hungarian championship and then signed for Asiago HC of the Italian Serie A for the 2005-06 season.
Having played most of the next campaign with the EV Duisburg Die Füchse of the DEL, Szuper was signed by Malmö Redhawks for the 2007 Kvalserien (the relegation-round playoffs of the Swedish Elitserien). In the autumn he returned to Italy, this time with the Milano Vipers.
After the success of the national team in the 2008 Division I tournament in Sapporo he signed with Alba Volán Székesfehérvár, the most successful Hungarian team in recent times, which competes in the Austrian premier division. On June 29 he announced, that he moves back to the DEL with the Hannover Scorpions.
Second Stint Playing in North America
Szuper lives in his hometown Budapest. He likes to spend his spare time with his horses on his ranch, just outside the city. As a child he was not only an actor, but also a well known dubbing actor and nowadays, after the end of his own season he usually works as a co-commentator during the Stanley Cup playoffs and the World Championships for a Hungarian sports channel.
His family name means "super" in Hungarian, due to this his helmet-paintings usually include a modified Superman logo with a letter Z.
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Levente Szuper. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).|