With Spartak quickly recovering and climbing up in the Western Conference standings, it’s time to start giving some consideration to the players who made it possible. Lukas Radil returned to Spartak this summer, and with Jori Lehtera, he is forming a dynamic duo that is causing havoc in all the opposition teams. In this strange and challenging season, it has been a rollercoaster of emotions for the Red-and-Whites. However, Spartak is back to the playoffs zone with its recent successes as the Muscovites are now the West’s eighth seed with a one-point gap over Vityaz. Radil is currently the second scorer in the league, with 11 snipes — one less than Alexei Makeyev — while Lehtera is leading the KHL with 16 assists. On Sunday, Spartak defeated HC Sochi with a 4-1 score, and Radil scored a hat-trick for the Red-and-Whites. For the Czech forward, it’s the second stint with Spartak, and his fourth season overall in Moscow. “I think I had my latest hat-trick playing with the juniors,” he told the reporters after the game.
Lukas Radil started playing hockey with HC Pardubice — historically one of the top teams in his country and the organization that produced, among the others, the great Dominik Hasek, who also played for Spartak in the KHL. Other former KHL players from Pardubice include Jan Bulis and Robert Kousal.
Radil had his debut in pro hockey in 2008, in his 18, and played at home most of his career if excluding a few experiences on a loan to second league teams. His production at home ultimately skyrocketed in the 2013-2014 season, when he had 32 (16+16) points in 48 regular-season games for Pardubice. However, by then, he already won a Czech title in 2011-2012, when he scored seven goals in the postseason. Radil will have another productive season with Pardubice, scoring 39 (10+29) points in the regular season and another 6 (3+3) in the playoffs. It was clear that he outgrew the level of the Czech Extraliga.
In June 2015, Spartak announced to have signed the Czech forward, and then quickly renewed his contract the next January for another two years. Radil will then have three spectacular seasons with Spartak, always managing to improve his scored points, climbing from 32 (13+19) to 38 (16+22) in his third season with the Muscovites. Naturally, such a strong performance got the eyes of the Czech national team on him, and he represented his country at the 2017 IIHF World Championship in Germany and France and the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Unfortunately, he didn’t have much postseason experience with Spartak, only playing four postseason games.
After three seasons with Spartak, Lukas Radil joined the San Jose Sharks of the NHL. In 2018-2019 he had an okay season in California, scoring 11 (7+4) points in 36 regular-season games and playing also 15 games in the AHL. However, the next year won’t be as successful for the Czech Forward, who failed to score in 14 games with the Sharks. He then went on playing 28 games with the San Jose Barracudas in the AHL, with 16 (6+10) points — including a four-point performance in his very last game — but it was probably not what Radil was expecting. On May, Spartak Moscow announced his return.
Radil’s return didn’t start well — the forward failed to score in Spartak’s opener against Lokomotiv and finishing the game with a minus-3 rating. However, the Czech soon found himself on a five-game scoring streak, including a goal on Sep. 28 Spartak’s victory over Dynamo in yet another Moscow derby. After a short draught, midway through October Radil found his best game. On Oct. 18, he had a three-point game as Spartak shut down Dinamo Minsk with a 3-0 score. Then, on Sunday, he posted a hat-trick against Sochi — his first in the KHL and, apparently, since a long time. With Radil — and Lehtera — in such fantastic shape, the forward’s playoff games count should increase soon.