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WHL Clubs select 23 players from nine nations in 2022 CHL Import Draft

Calgary, Alta. –  The Western Hockey League announced today that 23 players have been selected from nine different nations by WHL Clubs as the 2022 CHL Import Draft was completed Friday.

The two-round draft took place online with the order of selection rotating through each of the CHL’s three leagues. All CHL Clubs are permitted to carry two import players on their roster each season.

The Medicine Hat Tigers held the top selection in the annual international draft, using the first-overall pick to claim Slovak forward Adam Sykora of HK Nitra. The 5-foot-10, 172-pound forward is ranked 42nd among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting ahead of the 2022 NHL Draft. In 46 games with HK Nitra, Sykora collected 17 points (10G-7A). He also represented Slovakia at the 2022 IIHF World Hockey Championships, tallying three points (2G-1A) in six games.

“Adam is a skilled offensive forward with a great motor and plays with intensity,” said Willie Desjardins, Head Coach and General Manager of the Tigers. “He takes away time and space, and is not afraid to be first to pucks and play in the dirty areas. He had an excellent World Championships as one of the youngest players in the tournament, and we expect him to be taken in the first few rounds of the NHL Draft next week.

“We are excited about the prospects of adding a player of his calibre and providing an environment where he can continue to improve and develop his game.”

Sykora’s father, Roman, played in the WHL, appearing with the Tri-City Americans during the 1997-98 season.

The Tri-City Americans called the name of Czech forward Adam Mechura with the fourth-overall selection. The 6-foot-4 Mechura registered an impressive 84 points (54G-30A) in 42 games with Bili Tygri Liberec U20 during the 2021-22 season.

With the seventh-overall pick, it was the Victoria Royals selecting Czech forward Robin Sapousek. The 6-foot-1 Sapousek is ranked 125th among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting ahead of the 2022 NHL Draft. In 20 games with HC Karlovy Vary U20, Sapousek recorded 13 points (5G-8A).

The Vancouver Giants represented the final WHL Club to select in the top 10 of the 2022 CHL Import Draft, opting to choose Slovak forward Samuel Honzek with the 10th overall pick. The 6-foot-1 product of Trencin earned a silver medal with Slovakia at the 2021 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. During the 2021-22 season, he notched 14 points (10G-4A) in 49 games with HK Dukla Trencin in the Slovak professional league.

The 2022 CHL Import Draft saw WHL Clubs select 11 forwards, eight defencemen, and four goaltenders.

In total, WHL Clubs selected nine players currently ranked by NHL Central Scouting for the 2022 NHL Draft, including: Vancouver Giants selection Jonathan Letterimaki (sixth), Sykora (42nd), Edmonton Oil Kings selection Luca Hauf (60th), Prince George Cougars selection Ondrej Becher (74th), Everett Silvertips selection Dominik Rymon (90th), Sapousek (125th), Regina Pats selection Luca Auer (129th), as well as Portland Winterhawks selection Jan Spunar (third, goaltenders) and Kamloops Blazers selection Michael Schnattinger (sixth, goaltenders).

For the second consecutive year, an Italian was chosen in the CHL Import Draft, as the Spokane Chiefs selected forward Tommaso De Luca of Aosta, Italy with the 13th overall pick. In 2021, the Seattle Thunderbirds selected forward Alessandro Segafredo from Asiago, Italy with the 41st overall pick.

Russian and Belarussian players who played in the CHL during the 2021-22 season are grandfathered to continue to play in the CHL. The Brandon Wheat Kings used the 34th overall pick to select Russian defenceman Andrei Malyavin, who played 44 games with the OHL’s Sarnia Sting during the 2021-22 season.

Visit CHL.ca/draft for complete results from the 2022 CHL Import Draft.

2022 CHL Import Draft – WHL Selections

First Round

  1. Medicine Hat Tigers: Adam Sykora (C) – Slovakia – 5’10” / 172 lbs. – September 7, 2004
  2. Tri-City Americans: Adam Mechura (C) – Czechia – 6’4” / 194 lbs. – January 31, 2003
  3. Victoria Royals: Robin Sapousek (C) – Czechia – 6’1” / 147 lbs. – March 11, 2004
  4. Vancouver Giants: Samuel Honzek (C) – Slovakia – 6’1” / 165 lbs. – November 12, 2004
  5. Spokane Chiefs: Tommaso De Luca (C) – Italy – 5’10” / 148 lbs. – December 19, 2004
  6. Prince George Cougars: Ondrej Becher (RW) – Czechia – 6’1” / 172 lbs. – February 22, 2004
  7. Calgary Hitmen: Vojtech Husinecky (D) – Czechia – 5’11” / 163 lbs. – September 29, 2005
  8. Swift Current Broncos: Jakub Dvorak (D) – Czechia – 6’4” / 191 lbs. – May 25, 2005
  9. Regina Pats: Luca Auer (LW) – Austria – 6’2” / 179 lbs. – July 17, 2004
  10. Prince Albert Raiders: PASS
  11. Lethbridge Hurricanes: Alex Ciernik (LW) – Slovakia – 5’10” / 172 lbs. – October 8, 2004
  12. Brandon Wheat Kings: Andrei Malyavin (D) – Russia – 5’11” / 167 lbs. – January 30, 2004
  13. Saskatoon Blades: Tomas Zizka (D) – Czechia – 5’10” / 147 lbs. – May 28, 2005
  14. Moose Jaw Warriors: PASS
  15. Kelowna Rockets: Marek Rocak (D) – Czechia – 5’10” / 168 lbs. – May 31, 2005
  16. Seattle Thunderbirds: Kai Knak (D) – Switzerland – November 11, 2004
  17. Red Deer Rebels: Vojtech Port (D) – Czechia – 6’0” / 161 lbs. – August 3, 2005
  18. Portland Winterhawks: Jan Spunar (G) – Czechia – 6’3” / 185 lbs. – May 30, 2004
  19. Kamloops Blazers: Aapo Sarell (D) – Finland – 6’4” / 187 lbs. – February 12, 2004
  20. Everett Silvertips: Dominik Rymon (LW) – Czechia – 5’11” / 147 lbs. – May 29, 2004
  21. Edmonton Oil Kings: Luca Hauf (C) – Germany – 5’11” / 180 lbs. – January 11, 2004
  22. Winnipeg ICE: PASS

Second Round

  1. Vancouver Giants: Jonathan Lekkerimaki (RW) – Sweden – 5’11” / 165 lbs. – July 24, 2004
  2. Regina Pats: Michael Hrabal (G) – Czechia – 6’4” / 187 lbs. – January 20, 2005
  3. Kamloops Blazers: Michael Schnattinger (G) – Czechia – 5’11” / 176 lbs. – March 1, 2004
  4. Everett Silvertips: Tim Metzger (G) – Switzerland – 6’6” / 205 lbs. – March 17, 2005

WHL Selections by Country

Czechia – 12
Slovakia – 3
Switzerland – 2
Austria – 1
Finland – 1
Germany – 1
Italy – 1
Russia – 1
Sweden – 1

About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 375 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.

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