Dunaújvárosi Acélbikák Steel Bulls have put in a call from Central Hungary to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to ask veteran defenseman Bronson Kovacs to play another season of professional hockey in Erste Liga.
And the 29-year old Kovacs — he will turn 30 in July — told Hockey News North that he has made a verbal agreement to return to the Steel Bulls for the 2020-2021 hockey season. The 2020-2021 campaign will mark the sixth season of pro hockey in Hungary for Kovacs.
The well-grounded, likeable Kovacs has a family link to Hungary, which is the homeland of his late paternal grandfather, Zoltan Kovacs Sr.
Kovacs, who returns home to the Sault to live with his dad and mom — Zoltan Jr. (Toots) and Diana Kovacs — during the off season, said the upcoming term could be his final one in professional hockey.
“It all depends on the job opportunities that arise,” Kovacs pointed out, adding that “hopefully I get in one more full season over there (in Hungary) and then come back to settle in the Sault.”
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Kovacs played all of his minor hockey in Sault Ste. Marie, advancing to the Soo North Stars of the Great North Midget Hockey League and the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League and the Huntsville Otters of the Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
He then spent four full years with the Hobart College Statesmen of the Eastern College Athletic Conference.
During his career at Hobart, Kovacs served as team captain in his senior season and helped lead the Statesmen to its fifth National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament appearance in program history in 2014-2015.
In all, Kovacs played in 98 career games at Hobart and scored 19 goals, 26 assists, 45 points.
In the classroom, Kovacs graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology and was a three-time member of the ECAC all-academic team.
His father, the aforementioned Toots Kovacs, is no stranger to hockey in Sault Ste. Marie and recently signed on as the associate coach of the Sault College Cougars men’s team.
A retired youth justice case worker, the elder Kovacs played in the erstwhile International Jr. B Hockey League with the Soo Thunderbirds before moving up to the Ontario Hockey League with the Soo Greyhounds and Windsor Spitfires and then the St. Thomas Tommies of the Atlantic University Athletic Union.
He has also been an assistant coach in the OHL with the Greyhounds and an associate and head coach in the NOJHL with the Thunderbirds before recently taking on the new gig at Sault College.