Getting to Know… Michal Kempny

By
Posted January 20, 2019

(Caps Outsider)

In February 2018, Czech native Michal Kempny joined fellow contryman Jakub Vrana on the Capitals roster, being traded by Chicago after two seasons with the Blackhawks. Fellow Czech Dmitrij Jaskin then joined the Capitals in December.

Hailing from Hodonin in the Czech Republic, the 28 year old defensemen lined up for the Slovakian Junior teams in HK Skalicia for several seasons from 2005-2008 before his first international representation for the Czech Republic U18 team as part of the 2008 World Junior Championships and International Junior Tournaments.

In 2014-15, Kempny represented the Czech Republic at the senior level, playing for the national squad as part of the Euro Hockey Tour and International Tournaments. The following season would see Kempny join Avangard Omsk as part of the KHL and a stellar season for the young defenceman. In 2016, he lined up for the Czech Republic for the IIHF World Championships. Kempny’s efforts in the KHL and the World Championships drew the attention of the Chicago Blackhawks and the Czech product signed with Chicago in May that year. A 50 game season which saw two goals and six assists gave him the opportunity to extend his tenure with the Blackhawks, and Chicago re-signed Kempny to a one year deal before he reached restricted free agent status.

With less ice time the following season and one goal and six assists across 31 games in 2017-18, the Capitals came knocking, and Chicago traded Kempny to Washington the same season. It was here that Kempny found his groove again, pairing well with All-Star defenseman John Carlson. Kempny played a pivotal role in Washington’s Stanley Cup run, scoring five points in his 24 games leading up to the organization’s first cup. Kempny now forms a core part of the Capitals’ defense and in the words of former coach Barry Trotz (quoted as Kempny was on the verge of being traded), you can never have enough defensemen.