The Slovak defenseman had quite the week this time around, netting his first KHL hat-trick in Dynamo Moscow’s 4-0 win over HC Sochi. Michal Cajkovsky needed only 10 minutes and 26 seconds to net his treble, establishing a record for the Blue-and-Whites for the fastest hat-trick. If that’s not enough, Cajkovsky has reached a new achievement in the same match, scoring a career-high 11 goals against last year’s nine.
But naturally, Cajkovsky didn’t become a great player overnight, and his merits don’t finish to his natural hat-trick against the Black Sea franchise. Gifted with a large body, standing at 6-foot-4, 236 lbs, and an excellent skating ability that allows him to glide freely around the ice, Cajkovsky is a crucial player for Dynamo Moscow. Averaging more than eighteen minutes a night and leading all the Blue-and-Whites defensemen for successful passes percentage, Cajkovsky is also tied with Andrei Mironov for the most points by a Dynamo D-man with 24. The D-man’s opening goal against HC Sochi was scored with a cannon of a shot recorded at 139.6 kph. Cajkovsky was awarded Best defenseman of the week honors, and Dynamo is currently the fourth seed in the Western Conference standings.
Michal Cajkovsky was born in Bratislava, Slovakia, where he started playing for the local Slovan. He had his debut for Slovan in the 2009-2010 campaign, when he skated in 18 games in the Slovak Extraliga without recording any point. After representing Slovakia at the 2010 IIHF U18 WJC in Belarus, Cajkovsky moved overseas to seek a Canadian Junior League career. In North America, the Slovak blueliner played three years in the OHL, then moved up to pro hockey, spending the 2013-2014 campaign with the Reading Royals of the ECHL, where he made the first All-rookie team. However, despite his efforts, he never played n sin the NHL, even in his second attempt, after signing a two-way deal with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2018. Cajkovsky also played with other teams in his North American career. In the ECHL, he skated with the South Carolina Stingrays. He also played 13 games with the Hershey Bears of the AHL in 2014-2015.
After failing to become a full-time player in the NHL, Michal Cajkovsky has been a force in the Kontinental Hockey League. He first came to the league in the 2016-2017 season, joining Avtomobilist after spending the first part of the year with HC Sparta Prague in the Czech Extraleague. In 2018, still as a Motormen member, he represented Slovakia at the South Korea Olympics. After his adventure in the Urals, Cajkovsky first joined the Hurricanes, then returned to Europe, signing with his current team, Dynamo Moscow.
Playing under Krikunov, Cajkovsky showed his best hockey. Improving from 15 scored points to 31 (9+22) in 2019-2020, the towering blueliner made giant strides forward and became a regular not only at the KHL level but also with his national team on the international stage.
Moreover, considering Dynamo’s striking season this time around, Cajkovsky will have a good shot at lifting the Gagarin Cup for the first time in his career and join his Slovak predecessors Dominik Granak and Tomas Starosta. Granak was a key D-man for Dynamo when the Blue-and-Whites won two back-to-back cups in 2012 and 2013. It looks like having a reputable and valuable Slovak defenseman can do wonders for Dynamo, who are now looking to repeat their magic in this interesting and tense 2020-2021 campaign.