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WHL Clubs select 25 players from eight nations in 2020 CHL Import Draft

 

Calgary, Alta. –  The Western Hockey League announced today that 25 players have been selected from eight different nations by WHL Clubs as the 2020 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 2019-20 regular season. All CHL Clubs are permitted to carry two import players on their roster each season.

The Swift Current Broncos held the top selection of all WHL Clubs, using the third-overall pick to claim Slovakian defenceman Oliver Fatul (2002) of Tappara Tampere Jr. The 6-foot-4, 179-pound blueliner spent the bulk of the campaign with HKM Zloven of the Slovakian professional league (Tipsport Liga), recording two assists in 29 games.

With the sixth-overall selection, the Moose Jaw Warriors chose Czech right winger Martin Rysavy (2003) of Vitkovice Ostrave Jr. The 6-foot-2, 202-pound forward collected 22 points (8G-14A) in 23 games of U20 competition. He also represented his country internationally, serving as captain for the Czech Republic at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, registering five points (3G-2A) and capturing a bronze medal.

The ninth-overall selection saw the Tri-City Americans take Czech goaltender Tomas Suchanek (2003) of HC Ocelari Trinec Jr. The 6-foot-1, 160-pound netminder appeared in nine games for HC Ocelari Trinec at the U20 level, finishing with a 2.75 goals-against average and .923 save percentage. Suchanek was also a member of the Czech Republic team that competed at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, appearing in six games and earning a bronze medal.

The 2020 CHL Import Draft saw WHL Clubs select seven players ranked by NHL Central Scouting for the 2020 NHL Draft, including Fatul (70th), Red Deer Rebels selection Tomas Chlubna (2002, Czech Republic; 52nd), Seattle Thunderbirds selection Samuel Knazko (2002, Slovakia; 42nd), Kelowna Rockets selection Michael Krutil (2002, Czech Republic; 27th), Kamloops Blazers selection Viktor Persson (2001, Sweden; 44th), Vancouver Giants selection Marko Stacha (2002, Slovakia; 105th), and Edmonton Oil Kings selection Janis Svanenbergs (2001, Latvia; 76th).

One player previously selected in the 2019 NHL Draft was chosen during the 2020 CHL Import Draft, as the Winnipeg ICE chose Winnipeg Jets prospect Henri Nikkanen. The 19-year-old Finnish forward was selected by the Jets in the fourth round (113th) of the 2019 NHL Draft.

Complete results from the 2020 CHL Import Draft are available at CHL.ca.

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2020 CHL Import Draft – WHL Selections

First Round

3. Swift Current Broncos: Oliver Fatul (RD) – Slovakia – 6’4” / 179 lbs. – August 16, 2002
6. Moose Jaw Warriors: Martin Rysavy (LW) – Czech Republic – 6’2” / 202 lbs. – March 6, 2003
9. Tri-City Americans: Tomas Suchanek (G) – Czech Republic – 6’1” / 160 lbs. – April 30, 2003
12. Prince George Cougars: Jonni Karkkainen (C) – Finland – 6’1” / 181 lbs. – April 1, 2003
15. Regina Pats: Stanislav Svozil (LD) – Czech Republic – 5’11” / 167 lbs. – January 17, 2003
18. Red Deer Rebels: Tomas Chlubna (RW) – Czech Republic – 6’2” / 183 lbs. – July 6, 2002
21. Seattle Thunderbirds: Samuel Knazko (LD) – Slovakia – 6’0” / 191 lbs. – August 7, 2002
24. Kelowna Rockets: Michael Krutil (RD) – Czech Republic – 6’3” / 202 lbs. – June 3, 2002
27. Victoria Royals: Marcus Almquist (RW) – Denmark – 5’7” / 154 lbs. – September 13, 2003
30. Vancouver Giants: Fabian Lysell (LW) – Sweden – 5’10” / 176 lbs. – January 19, 2003
33. Saskatoon Blades: Brad Lambert (C) – Finland – 5’11” / 172 lbs. – December 19, 2003
36. Calgary Hitmen: Jonas Peterek (C/LW) – Czech Republic – 6’2” / 176 lbs. – February 19, 2001
39. Brandon Wheat Kings: Yaroslav Busygin (LD) – Russia – 6’2” / 169 lbs. – February 14, 2003
42. Winnipeg ICE: Henri Nikkanen (C) – Finland – 6’3” / 200 lbs. – April 28, 2001
45. Prince Albert Raiders: Uladzislau Shyla (F) – Belarus – 5’9” / 147 lbs. – March 14, 2003
48. Lethbridge Hurricanes: Nikita Chibrikov (RW) – Russia – 5’10” / 167 lbs. – February 16, 2003
51. Medicine Hat Tigers: Oskari Kuntonen (F) – Finland – 6’1” / 180 lbs. – September 15, 2002
54. Spokane Chiefs: David Jiricek (RD) – Czech Republic – 6’3” / 170 lbs. – November 28, 2003
56. Kamloops Blazers: Viktor Persson (LD) – Sweden – 6’2” / 192 lbs. – November 7, 2001
58. Edmonton Oil Kings: Janis Svanenbergs (RW) – Latvia – 6’3” / 190 lbs. – July 17, 2001

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Second Round

63. Swift Current Broncos: Vladislav Demidovich (F) – Belarus – 6’2” / 163 lbs. – May 23, 2002
69. Tri-City Americans: Andrej Golian (LD) – Slovakia – 6’2” / 170 lbs. – March 7, 2001
90. Vancouver Giants: Marko Stacha (LD) – Slovakia – 6’0” / 192 lbs. – March 21, 2002
96. Calgary Hitmen: Alexei Garapuchik (LD) – Belarus – 6’2” / 189 lbs. – April 15, 2003
102. Winnipeg ICE: Eugen Rabcan (G) – Slovakia – 6’2” / 183 lbs. – June 28, 2001

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WHL Selections by Country

Czech Republic – 7
Slovakia – 5
Finland – 4
Belarus – 3
Sweden – 2
Russia – 2
Denmark – 1
Latvia – 1

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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 350 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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