'Cats Add Former DMan of the Year, NCAA DII Forward

by Brett Wiseman



The Blue Ridge Bobcats are proud and excited to announce the signing of veteran defenseman Daniel Klinecky for the 2024-2025 season. 

The 6'1" 185lb blue-liner brings an elite level of play to the Bobcats blue line, and an elite professional background to go with it.

The 27-year-old native of Hradec Kralove, CZE has spent multiple seasons in a number of Europe's top leagues, including high-level pro ranks in his native Czech Republic, France, Slovakia, Poland and most recently in Latvia. 

Klinecky has spent time in the US as well, earning FPHL defenseman of the year honors in the 2019-2020 season. He posted astonishing offensive numbers for a defenseman, especially in a season shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Klinecky racked up 60 points (18 goals, 42 assists) and just 22 penalty minutes in 46 games with the Carolina Thunderbirds.

"Daniel played for me in Carolina in 2019-20 and I can tell you he’s definitely a game changer", said Bobcats Vice President of Operations Jimmy Milliken. "Plus, he’s a great young man and we look forward to him being in a Bobcat sweater."

"I’m excited to come back to the USA", said Klinecky. "I hope it will be a successful season for the Bobcats, and I’m preparing at home in Czechia now to make this upcoming season a success."

Klinecky isn't a stranger to pro hockey in Virginia either. In addition to his stint with Carolina, he spent part of the 2021-2022 season with the nearby Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs dressing in 11 games and playing under Bobcats head coach Vojtech Zemlicka, who was an assistant that season in Roanoke.

Last season with Kaunas City in Latvia, Klinecky put up stellar numbers, posting 33 points (9 goals, 24 assists) and 46 penalty minutes in 38 games (including playoffs).

"Daniel is a stud defenseman at this level", said Zemlicka. "His hockey IQ is something that I felt we were missing last season on our special teams unit. That’s something we’re looking to change this year and Daniel can help us to do that."

"His experience playing at in North America and in different leagues in Europe is also big for our young team", Zemlicka continued. "We know he’s going to be another piece to our core leadership group."

In addition to Klinecky, the Bobcats are also proud and excited to announce the signing of NCAA DIII college standout, forward Jonas Leas. The 5'10" 195lb versatile forward comes to Blue Ridge after beginning his collegiate career at Elmira College and completing it the past three seasons at Morrisville State College.

The Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada native skated in 56 games over three seasons for the Mustangs of Morrisville State, posting 9 points (4 goals, 5 assists) and 6 penalty minutes. He joins Joel Frazee and Connor Green as SUNYAC products to play for the 'Cats.

Jonas is coming out of a school and conference that produces great players," said Zemlicka. Like Joel and Connor, Jonas is a student of the game and that’s what we preach in our organization."

Leas completed his junior career in the OJHL, serving as captain for the Aurora Tigers before joining the North York Rangers during the 2019-2020 season. He posted 21 points (7 goals, 14 assists) in 39 games between the two clubs that season (including playoffs).

"Jonas is a centerman who’s very strong on faceoffs and he loves getting in front of the net", Zemlicka continued. "I know he will make a big impact on our team."

You can follow all the Bobcats moves via the "Aschenbach Automotive Group Transaction Tracker", which is available to subscribers of "The Claw", the Bobcats weekly email newsletter. To sign up for "The Claw", visit http://eepurl.com/iCtxCo.

Season ticket packages are on-sale for the Bobcats forthcoming second season, and payment plans are available. Existing season ticket holders can now begin selecting their seats from the new 3,650 capacity before construction is completed in September. Season ticket holders enjoy exclusive perks and priority seat selection. Call 276-335-2100 or visit blueridgebobcats.com/tickets for more information.

For more information on the Blue Ridge Bobcats please visit www.blueridgebobcats.com or follow us on Facebook (Blue Ridge Bobcats Pro Hockey), as well as Instagram and X (BRBobcatsHKY) and visit our YouTube channel (Blue Ridge Bobcats TV).