The Canadian Hockey League Import Draft serves as an important building block in all Western Hockey League team’s quest for a WHL Championship and as such should be analyzed closely to ensure successful foreign talent is recruited. In this roundup, we take a look at the 30 selections made by WHL clubs in the 2019 CHL Import Draft.
Swift Current Broncos: Kasper Puutio, Defenceman, Finland
For the first-overall selection, the Swift Current Broncos chose smooth-skating, puck-moving defenceman Kasper Puutio. Puutio is listed at 5-foot-11, 172-pounds from Vaasa, Finland. In 10 games with the Karpat U18 A Team, Puutio had 12 points (4G-8A). The 2002-born defender also played 31 games with the Karpat U20 team and recorded four points (1G-3A).
Winnipeg ICE: Michal Teply, Left Wing, Czech Republic
The Winnipeg ICE selected Michal Teply fourth overall in the 2019 CHL Draft. The Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic native was also a fourth-round draft pick, 105th overall, of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2019 NHL Draft. The 6-foot-3, 187-pound forward played 23 games for HC Benatky nad Jizerou in Czech2 during the 2018-2019 regular season. In those 23 games, he recorded 10 points (4G-6A).
Regina Pats: Daniil Gushchin, Right Wing, Finland
Daniil Gushchin, a 5-foot-8, 161-pound product from Yekaterinburg, Russia, played the 2018-19 season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL. In 51 games, he put up 36 points (16G-20A). Gushchin played for Russia at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and Hlinka Gretzky Cup and Under-18 World Championships in 2018-19, winning gold at the Under-17’s, silver at the Under-18’s and a bronze medal at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Prince George Cougars: Filip Koffer, Right Wing, Czech Republic
A product of Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic, Filip Koffer spent the majority of last season with HC Dynamo Pardubice in the Czech Under-19 league. In 38 games he compiled 38 points (10G-28A) finishing fifth in team scoring. He played in another 12 games with the men’s team, in the Czech Extraliga, where he recorded one assist.
Kelowna Rockets: Pavel Novak, Right Wing, Czech Republic
Born in Tabor, Czech Republic, Pavel Novak is listed at 5-foot-10, 167-pounds. Last season while playing with Motor Ceske Budejovice Under-19, the 2002-born forward played in 31 games, recording 45 points (29G-16A).
Kamloops Blazers: Inaki Baragano, Defenceman, Switzerland
Inaki Baragano is a 2001-born defenceman from Lausanne, Switzerland. He played this season with the Lausanne Under-20 team where he had collected 22 points (6G-16A) in 29 games. He also suited up for Switzerland at the Under-18 World Hockey Championships and had one assist in seven games.
Seattle Thunderbirds: Tim Stutzle, Right Wing, Germany
Tim Stutzle is from Viersen, Germany, and was selected in the first round of the 2019 CHL Import Draft with the 19th overall selection. A 2002-born player, Stutzle recorded 55 points (23G-32A) in 21 games for the Junglader Mannheim in the German U20 league. He also scored the game-winning goal and an insurance goal in the German U20 Championship.
Brandon Wheatkings: Marcus Kallionkieli, Left Wing, Finland
Marcus Kallionkieli, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound, Helsinki, Finland product, was the fifth-round selection, 139th overall, of the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2019 NHL Draft. A member of the United States Hockey League’s Sioux City Musketeers this past season, Kallionkieli collected 83 points (29G-54A) in 58 games and was named to the USHL’s All-Rookie All-Star Team.
Red Deer Rebels: Christoffer Sedoff, Defenceman, Finland
As a 2002-born defender, Christoffer Sedoff is a promising prospect eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft. The 5-foot-11, 159-pound defenceman played for the HIFK Under-20 team in the Jr. A SM-liiga Finnish league and recorded three assists in 32 games.
Victoria Royals: Keanu Derungs, Centreman, Switzerland
A product of Ilanz, Switzerland, Keanu Derungs spent the majority of last season in the Under-20 Elit League, Switzerland’s top junior league, with the EHC Kloten Under-20 team. In 34 contests with the club, Derungs recorded 14 points (5G-9A) and 57 penalty minutes. He also played for EHC Kloten’s Under-17 team of the U-17 Elit League and registered 23 points (14G-9A) and 18 minutes in penalties in just 11 games.
Tri-City Americans: Jan Cikhart, Left Wing, Czech Republic
The Praha, Czech Republic forward played for the Bili Tygri Liberec Under-19 team of the Czech Under-19 league this season. In 40 games, the 6-foot-3, 187-pound left wing collected 31 points (18G-13A).
Medicine Hat Tigers: Jonathan Brinkman Andersen, Left Wing, Denmark
Jonathan Brinkman Andersen picked up six points (1G, 5A) in 32 games for the Aalborg Pirates last year in the Danish League. The 17-year-old forward also has experience playing for the Danish National Team. Last season he won a Bronze Medal with the Under-18 World Junior Championship (D1A) team and he was also named one of the Under-20 World Junior Championship’s Top Three Players on the Team.
Calgary Hitmen: Jonas Peterek, Left Wing, Czech Republic
Jonas Peterek, an 18-year-old forward from Havirov, Czech Republic, has an extensive resume having played for the Czech Republic at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and the 2019 Under-18 World Championship. Most recently, Peterek played with the HC Ocelari Trinec Czech Under-19 team and recorded nine points (2G-7A) in nine games.
Portland Winterhawks: Simon Knak, Right Wing, Switzerland
Simon Knak, the 2002-born right winger, is already being recognized as a top-end prospect for the 2020 NHL Draft as he put up 25 points (14G-11A) in 37 games as a 17-year-old playing in the Under-20 league. At 6-foot, 185-pounds, Knak captained the Swiss Under-18 team and he competed in the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup as an underage forward, scoring twice in four tournament games.
Spokane Chiefs: Lukas Parik, Goaltender, Czech Republic
Lukas Parik, a 2001-born netminder from the Czech Republic, was selected in the third round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings. He posted a 2.85 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in 32 games with the Bili Tygri Liberec of the Czech Under-19 league. Standing 6-foot-4 and 185-pounds, Parik also played five games with the Czech national Under-18 team, earning honors as a top-3 player on the team.
Moose Jaw Warriors: Jesper Wallstedt, Goaltender, Sweden
Jesper Wallstedt, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound goaltender, played with the Lulea HF J20 in Sweden’s SuperElit league and in 21 games posted a 2.65 GAA and a .901 SV%. Wallstedt represented Sweden on the international stage twice in the last year where he won a silver medal at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and was a part of their gold medal team at the 2019 IIHF World Under-18 Championships held back in April. He also won a bronze medal with Sweden at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Lethbridge Hurricanes: Oliver Okuliar, Left Wing, Slovakia
Oliver Okuliar hails from Trencin, Slovakia. The 19-year-old left-shot forward spent the 2018-2019 season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Sherbrooke Phoenix where he appeared in 66 games collecting 42 points (14G-28A) along with 46 penalty minutes and a plus-13 rating, finishing tied for seventh in team scoring. The 6-foot-1, 192-pound forward represented Slovakia on the international stage at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup where he scored eight points (4G-4A) in five games.
Edmonton Oil Kings: Jesse Seppala, Left Wing, Finland
Jesse Seppala, played in 45 games between the Tappara Under-18 and Under-20 teams this season combining for 48 points (17G,-31A). Seppala was also named a 2nd Team All-Star in the U18 league this season. Born in Espoo, Finland, Seppala played 24 games for Finland Under-17 collecting 12 points (4G-8A) highlighted by three points (1G-2A) in six games at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge where Finland won a Silver medal.
Saskatoon Blades: Libor Zabransky, Defenceman, Czech Republic
Czech defenceman Libor Zabransky was taken with the Saskatoon Blades’ first pick in the draft at 55th overall. Zabransky is a veteran 19-year-old, right-shot defender with plenty of experience in North America and on the international stage. Zabransky spent last season split between the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL and the Fargo Force of the USHL. With the Rockets, Libor collected nine points (2G-7A) and 32 penalty minutes in 35 outings. Then in January, Zabransky joined the Fargo Force and recorded 16 points (4G-12A) in 30 games.
Everett Silvertips: Michal Gut, Centreman, Czech Republic
Last season, the 2002-born Michal Gut was third on Pirati Chomutov’s Under-19 squad with 34 points (14G-30A) in 33 games. Additionally, the 5-foot-10, 174-pound forward tallied an assist in five games with Team Czech Republic in the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge.
Vancouver Giants: Samuel Knazko, Defenceman, Slovakia
Samuel Knazko, a left-handed shot checks in at 6-foot, 170-pounds. Last season at age 16, he played with TPS Turku Under-20 in Finland and recorded 17 points (2G-15A) in 49 games. He served as an alternate captain for Slovakia at the World Under-18’s and also suited up for Slovakia in 16 additional international games, totaling seven points (3G-4A) along with 10 penalty minutes.
Prince Albert Raiders: Ivan Kechkin, Forward, Russia
Ivan Kechkin, a Russian-born left-shot forward, is listed at 5-foot-7, 143-pounds. He split his season between the Moscow Under-17 and Under-18 teams in their respective Russian leagues. In 38 combined games, the 2002-born forward had 33 points (12G-21A).
Winnipeg ICE: Nino Kinder, Left Wing, Germany
The 6-foot, 163-pounder suited up in 33 regular season games with Eisbaren Juniors Berlin Under-20 of Deutsche Nachwuchs Liga U20 last season. Nino Kinder notched 41 points (17G-24A) in those 33 games. He then added eight points (2G-4A) in five playoff games.
Kelowna Rockets: Daniil Gutik, Right Wing, Russia
Daniil Gutik, a product of Khabarovsk, Russia is listed at 6-foot-3, 179-pounds. Last season the 2001-born forward suited up for 36 games with Loko Yaroslavl of the Molodezhnaya Hockey League (MHL). During his time there, Gutik recorded 13 points (5G-8A) and 12 penalty minutes.
Brandon Wheat Kings: Vladislav Firstov, Left Wing, Russia
The Brandon Wheat Kings selected two NHL Draft prospects in the 2019 CHL Import Draft, the second being Vladislav Firstov. The 6-foot-1, 181-pound forward was chosen by the Minnesota Wild in the second round, 42nd overall, in the 2019 NHL draft in Vancouver after scoring 58 points (26G-32A) for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL last season.
Tri-City Americans: David Homola, Defenceman, Czech Republic
The Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic forward played for the HC Ocelari Trinec Under-19 team of the Czech Under-19 league this season. In 47 games, the 5-foot-11, 165-pound defenceman collected 18 points (4G-14A).
Calgary Hitmen: Samuel Krajc, Right Wing, Slovakia
Krajc, a 17-year-old forward from Martin, Slovakia, has often played above his age group skating for his home country at the Under-18 World Championship last spring while also graduating this past season to the Slovakian Under-20 league. Last season Krajc played for the HK Dukla Trencin Under-18 team and recorded 14 points (11G-8A) in 27 games.
Portland Winterhawks: Jonas Brondberg, Defenceman, Denmark
Jonas Brøndberg, a 6-foot-4, 183-pound defenceman captained the Danish Under-18 team and captured a bronze medal this past season at the Division 1 Group A World Junior Championships.
Spokane Chiefs: Matvei Startsev, Defenceman, Russia
Matvei Startsev, a 2002-born rearguard from Russia, posted nine points (3G-6A) in 13 games while wearing an “A” as an alternate captain with Moskva Russia of the Russian Under-18 league. He competed in nine playoff games, recording eight penalty minutes. The 5-foot-eight, 132-pound defenceman also played 25 games with the same club’s Under-17 team, tacking on 12 points (4G-8A).
Saskatoon Blades: Radek Kucerik, Defenceman, Czech Republic
Radek Kucerik has a late birthday and will not turn 18 until December, meaning he is eligible for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. This season, the 6-foot-2, 198-pound defenceman captained the HC Kometa Brno Under-19 team in the Czech Under-19 league and recorded 23 points (6G-17A) in 43 games.