While Vadim Malinovsky hails from the Belarussian capital of Minsk, his hockey aspirations took him to Austria at the age of 16 and carved his path with the Lower Austria Stars.
Once arriving in his new country, Malinovsky displayed the potential to blossom into a future star as evidenced by a six-game stint with the Stars’ Under-20 team in which he tallied two assists.
In the 2013-14 season, Malinovsky skated a full season at the U20 level, save for one game with the Stars’ U18 team. There was little question he belonged, as he found his way into 43 games and placed seventh on the team in total scoring with 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists).
The 2014-15 season proved to be a breakout one for the Belarussian. Despite only playing 31 games, he obliterated his previous season’s scoring total, placing second on the team with 38 points. More telling, he led the Stars with 20 goals despite the abbreviated campaign.
In the offseason, the Stars withdrew from Austria’s Erste Bank Young Stars League and relocated to Massachusetts to join the USPHL’s Premier Division. After learning the new set of opportunities that existed in North America, Malinovsky hardly needed to think twice about the move.
“I would like to play professionally, but before that, I want to play college hockey and get an education,” stated Malinovsky. “The USPHL will help me achieve those goals and make me a better player.”
After the first half of the Okanagan European Eagles’ inaugural campaign, Malinovsky received an invitation to try out for the Belarussian Under-20 national team and wear his country’s colors for the first time.
With Team Belarus, Malinovsky will add another country to the list of stops in his career, as he and his teammates will play in the IIHF Under-20 Championship in Helsinki, Finland. This will mark the first time Belarus has competed in the top division, so there’s no question that Malinovsky will do whatever it takes to keep his country on the big stage.