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WHL clubs select 31 players from nine nations in 2018 CHL Import Draft

 

Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League announced today 31 players were selected from nine different nations by WHL Clubs as the 2018 CHL Import Draft was completed.

The two-round draft took place online with the order of selection rotating through each of the CHL’s three leagues, using an inverse order of final regular season standings from the 2017-18 regular season. All CHL Clubs are permitted to carry two import players on their roster each season.

The Edmonton Oil Kings held the top selection of all WHL Clubs, using the second overall pick to claim Belarusian left winger Vladimir Alistrov (2001) of Team Belarus U17. The 6-foot-2, 168-pounder registered 70 points (31G-39A) through 50 combined games with the Belarusian U17 and U18 teams. Alistrov suited up for Belarus at the 2018 IIHF World U18 Championship, notching seven points (3G-4A) in five contests.

The Prince George Cougars were the second WHL Club to select, using the fifth overall pick to claim Czech left winger Matěj Toman (2001) of HC Ceske Budjovice U18/U20. The 5-foot-10, 167-pound native of Ceske Budjovice skated in 25 games for HC Ceske Budjovice U20, registering 14 points (8G-6A). He also posted 15 points (3G-11A) in 11 games with HC Ceske Budjovice U18. Toman represented the Czech Republic at the 2017 World Hockey Challenge, scoring three goals in six games.

The Calgary Hitmen held the rights to the eighth overall selection, but with defencemen Vladislav Yeryomenko (Belarus, 1999) and Egor Zamula (Russia, 2000) expected to return, the Hitmen opted to pass on both their selections in the 2018 CHL Import Draft.

The Kootenay ICE were the third WHL Club to make a selection, using the 11th overall pick to claim Finnish defenceman Valtteri Kakkonen (2000). The 5-foot-10, 148-pound product of Jyvaskyla spent the 2017-18 season with JYP U20 of SM-liiga Junior A, registering 12 points (5G-7A) and a plus-3 rating in 47 games.

The 2018 CHL Import Draft saw goaltenders eligible for selection for the first time since the 2012 CHL Import Draft. Three import goaltenders were selected by WHL Clubs, including Akira Schmid (Switzerland, 2000; New Jersey Devils) by the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Mads Søgaard (Denmark, 2000) by the Medicine Hat Tigers, and Jiří Patera (1999, Czech Republic; Vegas Golden Knights) by the Brandon Wheat Kings.

The 2018 CHL Import Draft also saw WHL Clubs select four NHL-drafted players, including the aforementioned Schmid (136th, fifth round – 2018 NHL Draft), Vegas Golden Knights prospect defenceman Erik Brännström (1999, Sweden; 15th overall – 2017 NHL Draft) by the Brandon Wheat Kings, the aforementioned Patera (161st, sixth round – 2017 NHL Draft), and Washington Capitals forward prospect Kristian Røykås Marthinsen (213th, seventh round – 2017 NHL Draft) by the Saskatoon Blades.

Two WHL Clubs did not select a player in the 2018 CHL Import Draft – the aforementioned Hitmen, and the Vancouver Giants, who passed on the 35th overall pick with forward Miloš Roman (Czech Republic, 1999; Calgary Flames) expected to return and forward Yannik Valenti (Germany, 2000) committed to join the Club this fall.

Complete results from the 2018 CHL Import Draft are available at http://chl.ca/draft.

2018 CHL Import Draft – WHL Selections

Round One
2. Edmonton Oil Kings: Vladimir Alistrov (LW) – Belarus – 6’2” / 168 lbs. – February 12, 2001
5. Prince George Cougars: Matěj Toman (LW) – Czech Republic – 5’10” / 167 lbs. – January 15, 2001
11. Kootenay ICE: Valtteri Kakkonen (RD) – Finland – 5’10” / 148 lbs. – March 17, 2000
14. Kamloops Blazers: Martin Lang (LW) – Czech Republic – 5’11” / 163 lbs. – September 15, 2001
17. Red Deer Rebels: Oleg Zaitsev (C) – Russia – 6’2” / 185 lbs. – January 7, 2001
20. Lethbridge Hurricanes: Akira Schmid (G) – Switzerland – 6’4” / 165 lbs. – May 12, 2000
23. Saskatoon Blades: Emil Malysjev (RD) – Sweden – 6’3” / 178 lbs. / May 1, 2001
26. Prince Albert Raiders: Aliaksei Protas (RW) – Belarus – 6’4” / 178 lbs. – January 6, 2001
29. Seattle Thunderbirds: Andrej Kukuca (RW) – Slovakia – 6’2” / 165 lbs. – November 14, 1999
32. Medicine Hat Tigers: Mads Søgaard (G) – Denmark – 6’6” / 185 lbs. – December 13, 2000
38. Victoria Royals: Phillip Schultz (C) – Denmark – 6’0” / 194 lbs. – July 24, 2000
41. Tri-City Americans: Kryštof Hrabík (C) – Czech Republic – 6’4” / 209 lbs. – September 24, 1999
44. Brandon Wheat Kings: Erik Brännström (RD) – Sweden – 5’11” / 183 lbs. – September 2, 1999
47. Regina Pats: Sergei Alkhimov (F) – Russia – 6’1” / 176 lbs. – July 3, 2001
50. Spokane Chiefs: Yegor Arbuzov (LD) – Russia – 6’0” / 187 lbs. – January 24, 2001
53. Kelowna Rockets: Lassi Thomson (RD) – Finland – 5’11” / 199 lbs. – September 24, 2000
55. Portland Winterhawks: Dean Schwenninger (C) – Switzerland – 5’7” / 135 lbs. – March 5, 2001
57. Everett Silvertips: Peter Melcher (RW) – Slovakia – 5’10” / 167 lbs. / – June 21, 2001″
59. Swift Current Broncos: Joona Kiviniemi (LW) – Finland – 6’0” / 167 lbs. – December 17, 2001
60. Moose Jaw Warriors: Daniil Stepanov (LW) – Belarus – 6’0” / 167 lbs. – January 12, 2001

 

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Round Two
74. Kamloops Blazers: Joonas Sillanpää (LD) – Finland – 6’4” / 160 lbs. – March 5, 2001
77. Red Deer Rebels: Ivan Drozdov (RW) – Belarus – 6’0” / 174 lbs. – November 15, 1999
80. Lethbridge Hurricanes: Danila Palivko (LD) – Belarus – 6’3” / 174 lbs. – January 1, 2001
83. Saskatoon Blades: Kristian Røykås Marthinsen (LW) – Norway – 6’0” / 192 lbs. – August 28, 1999
89. Seattle Thunderbirds: Simon Kubicek (RD) – Czech Republic – 6’2” / 187 lbs. – December 19, 2001
92. Medicine Hat Tigers: Vasily Podkolzin (LW) – Russia – 5’11” / 165 lbs. – June 24, 2001
104. Brandon Wheat Kings: Jiří Patera (G) – Czech Republic – 6’2” / 210 lbs. – February 24, 1999
107. Regina Pats: Nikita Sedov (LD) – Russia – 6’0” / 192 lbs. – May 5, 2001
115. Portland Winterhawks: Michal Kvasnica (RW) – Czech Republic – 6’1” / 187 lbs. – April 17, 2000
119. Swift Current Broncos: Roope Pynnönen (LD) – Finland – 5’8” / 143 lbs. – February 10, 2001
120. Moose Jaw Warriors: Yegor Buyalski (F) – Belarus – 6’0” / 157 lbs. – January 1, 2001

 

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