Hockey fans may have noticed that there are two players with the same surname in the NHL: Adam Sykora and Petr Sykora. Both are from Slovakia, both play as right wingers, and both have been drafted by the New Jersey Devils. But are they related? And if so, how?
The answer is yes, they are related, but not very closely. According to Elite Prospects, Adam Sykora is the son of Roman Sykora, who played in the Slovak top and second tier leagues and also the WHL and BCHL. Roman Sykora is the cousin of Petr Sykora, who is the son of another Roman Sykora, who played in the Czechoslovak Extraliga and the IHL. So, Adam and Petr are second cousins once removed.
Petr Sykora’s Career
Petr Sykora is a veteran of the NHL, having played for six different teams over 15 seasons. He was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the first round, 18th overall, of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. He made his debut in 1995-96 and scored 42 points in his rookie season. He was part of the Devils’ effective “A-line” with Patrik Elias and Jason Arnott, and helped the team win the Stanley Cup in 2000. He also reached the Stanley Cup Finals with the Devils in 2001, but lost to the Colorado Avalanche.
In 2002, he was traded to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, where he played for three seasons. He reached his third Stanley Cup Finals with the Ducks in 2003, but lost to his former Devils teammates. He scored the game-winning goal in the fourth-longest playoff game in NHL history in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semi-finals against the Dallas Stars.
After a brief stint with the New York Rangers in 2005-06, he signed with the Edmonton Oilers as a free agent in 2006. He played one season with the Oilers before joining the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2007. He played for two seasons with the Penguins and won his second Stanley Cup in 2009. He also scored his 300th career goal that season.
He then signed with the Minnesota Wild in 2009, but only played 14 games due to injuries. He did not play in the NHL in 2010-11, but returned to the Devils in 2011-12. He played his final NHL season with the Devils and reached his sixth Stanley Cup Finals, but lost to the Los Angeles Kings.
Petr Sykora retired from professional hockey in 2013. He finished his NHL career with 323 goals and 721 points in 1017 games. He also represented his country at several international tournaments, winning a gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics and a bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Adam Sykora’s Career
Adam Sykora is a young prospect who plays for HK Nitra in Slovakia’s top professional hockey league. He was born on September 7, 2004, and is only 18 years old. He was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the second round, 63rd overall, of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. He signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Devils on July 15, 2022.
Adam Sykora has been playing for HK Nitra since he was a junior. He made his debut in Slovakia’s top league in 2020-21, scoring two points in 15 games. He also played for Team Slovakia U18 in Slovakia’s second tier league and Slovakia U18 at the World Junior Championship Division I A. He scored two goals and four points in six games at the international tournament.
In 2021-22, he improved his offensive production with HK Nitra, scoring 17 goals and 38 points in 46 games. He also played for Team Slovakia U18 again and Slovakia U20 at the World Junior Championship. He scored one goal and one point in four games at the junior tournament.
In 2022-23, he continued to play for HK Nitra and scored 21 goals and 38 points in 38 games. He also joined Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) after HK Nitra was eliminated from the playoffs. He played two regular season games and four playoff games for Hartford.
Adam Sykora has also represented his country at several international tournaments, winning a silver medal at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in 2021 and playing for Slovakia at the World Championship in 2022 and 2023.
Adam Sykora and Petr Sykora are two Slovak hockey players who share a surname and a passion for the game. They are related as second cousins once removed, but they have different career paths and achievements. Petr Sykora is a retired NHL star who won two Stanley Cups and two Olympic medals. Adam Sykora is a rising prospect who plays in Slovakia and the AHL and hopes to make his mark in the NHL. They both have been drafted by the New Jersey Devils, but they have not played together yet. Maybe one day, they will.