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2015 CHL Import Draft

Vancouver Giants Press Release:

Vancouver, B.C. – The Vancouver Giants are proud to announce that the club has selected Radovan Bondra with the eighth overall pick in the 2015 CHL Import Draft.

“We obviously need size,” said Giants Executive Vice President and General Manager Scott Bonner. “He’s a player that has played against men. He’s also played at the World Juniors and the Under 18s, so his hockey resume is very attractive, and the fact that he was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks made picking him a logical choice.”

Bondra, a 18-year-old Slovakian winger who is listed at 6’5”, 220 lbs, was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft last weekend at 151st overall. The native of Trebisov scored two goals and two assists in 15 games for HC Kosice in the Slovak Extraliga in the 2014/15 season. He also represented his country at the 2015 World Junior Hockey Championship

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Tri-City Americans Press Release:

KENNEWICK, WA – Tri-City Americans’ Governor/General Manager Bob Tory announced today that the club has selected Juuso Valimaki with their pick (14th overall) in today’s 2015 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft.

“We are excited to draft Jusso, he is an elite 1998 defenseman who has played as an underage for Finland at the World Championships,” Tory said. “We look forward to Juuso joining our team and being a major contributor.”

Valimaki, a 6’2 194 lb. defenseman of Nokia, Finland, played for Ilves Tampere of the Finnish Junior A-league last season, appearing in 44 games and collecting five goals, 20 points and 20 penalty minutes.  Valimaki appeared in 10 post-season games, picking up a goal, 4 points and 6 penalty minutes. He played for Finland in the Ivan Hlinka Tournament in 2014 and the U-18 World Championships in 2015 as an underage.

Red Deer Rebels Press Release:

RED DEER, AB – Brent Sutter, General Manager/Head Coach of the Red Deer Rebels Hockey Club, announced the selection of forward Michael Spacek in today’s Canadian Hockey League Import Draft.

Spacek is an 18-year old who played with HC Dynamo Pardubice and participated in the World Junior Championships as well as the World Under-18 Championships last season.  He is also a 4th round pick of the Winnipeg Jets in the 2015 National Hockey League Draft.

Each team in the Canadian Hockey League (Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) is allowed two import (non-North American) players.  Ivan Nikolishin, acquired from the Everett Silvertips during the offseason, is the Rebels other import player.

The CHL Import Draft can be followed on www.chl.ca

Tri-City Americans Press Release:

KENNEWICK, WA – Tri-City Americans’ Governor/General Manager Bob Tory announced today that the club has selected Juuso Valimaki with their pick (14th overall) in today’s 2015 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft.

“We are excited to draft Jusso, he is an elite 1998 defenseman who has played as an underage for Finland at the World Championships,” Tory said. “We look forward to Juuso joining our team and being a major contributor.”

Valimaki, a 6’2 194 lb. defenseman of Nokia, Finland, played for Ilves Tampere of the Finnish Junior A-league last season, appearing in 44 games and collecting five goals, 20 points and 20 penalty minutes.  Valimaki appeared in 10 post-season games, picking up a goal, 4 points and 6 penalty minutes. He played for Finland in the Ivan Hlinka Tournament in 2014 and the U-18 World Championships in 2015 as an underage.

Kamloops Blazers Press Release:

Kamloops, BC – The Kamloops Blazers chose 17-year-old defenseman Ondrej Vala from the Czech Republic in the CHL Import Draft on Tuesday morning.

Vala is listed at 6’3.5” and 198lbs. He played last season with HC Pardubice Under-20 team where he had nine goals and 11 points in 29 games.

Vala also has experience with the Czech Republic National Team at the Under-16 and Under-17 levels.

This is the first time the Blazers have selected a player from the Czech Republic since choosing Petr Novak in the 1995 CHL Import Draft.

The last Czech Republic player on the Blazers roster was defenseman Marek Hrbas who played with the Blazers for two seasons from 2011-2013.

Vala will join 19-year-old defenseman Patrik Maier as the second import on the Blazers roster.

To purchase your 2015-16 season tickets, or for other ticketing information, please contact Ticketing & Promotions Coordinator, Missy Cederholm at 778-471-8068 or by email at mcederholm@blazerhockey.com.

Spokane Chiefs Press Release:

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane Chiefs selected 18-year-old Danish forward Niklas Andersen with the 26th overall pick in the 2015 CHL Import Draft on Tuesday morning.

Andersen, from Esbjerg, Denmark, scored 11 goals and 7 assists in 36 games with the Esbjerg Energy in the Metal Ligaen, Denmark’s premier hockey league. Esbjerg was the runner-up in the 2015 Metal Ligaen Championship. Andersen also played 9 games with the Danish U18 team and competed in the IIHF U18 World Championship Division I Group A.

“We are excited with our pick,” said Chiefs General Manager Tim Speltz. “We expect Niklas to be an offensive player for us. He has speed, a great shot, plays physical and has good offensive instincts.

“Niklas’ experience playing in Denmark including time in the men’s league (Metal Ligaen) should help him with the adjustment to hockey in North America. We have great reports on Niklas and we’re looking forward to seeing him at (Chiefs Annual) Fall Camp.”

Andersen stands 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds. With his November 20 birthday, Andersen will be eligible for the NHL Draft beginning in 2016. He joins Austrian forward Dominic Zwerger as the Chiefs’ two allowed European import players heading into the 2015-16 regular season.

The Spokane Chiefs open the 2015-16 regular season with Bud Light Opening Night on Saturday, September 26 at Spokane Arena. Ticket packages are on sale now and start as low as $110. For more information, stop by the Chiefs’ Ticket Office in-person on the southeast corner of Spokane Arena, call (509) 535-PUCK or visit www.spokanechiefs.com.

Kelowna Rockets Press Release:

The Kelowna Rockets added its second European import at the annual CHL import draft held Tuesday.

Picking 59th out of 60 in the first of two rounds of the annual draft, Kelowna selected 6-foot-1 left wing Calvin Thurkauf of Switzerland with its selection.

Thurkauf is an 18-year old left-hand shot that played both at the junior A elite level in Switzerland last season as well as with Team Switzerland’s Under-18 program.

A native of Zug, Switzerland, Thurkauf joins Czech Republic forward Tomas Soustal as the Rockets two import players.

Thorkauf played 38 games with his club team in Zug, scoring 11 goals and adding 10 assists and 54 penalty minutes. He also played 32 total games with the Swiss Under-18 team, scoring four goals and adding nine helpers and 68 penalty minutes.

The 6-1, 198 pound forward was the 118th skater ranked by NHL Central Scouting amongst European players at the recently held NHL Entry Draft.

Edmonton Oil Kings Press Release:

EDMONTON, ALTA. – The Edmonton Oil Kings added a defenceman and forward in the CHL Import Draft Tuesday, selecting Russian defenceman Anatolii Elizarov and Swiss forward Dario Meyer.

Elizarov (also spelled Anatoly or Anatoli Yelizarov) is a 6-1, 183-pound defenceman born in Shemonaika, Kazakhstan who played 21 games last season for Dynamo St. Petersburg in the Russian MHL junior league. The 17-year-old put up three points and a plus-3 rating over that span. In 14 games at the Russian under-17 level, Elizarov had five points and 28 penalty minutes.

“He played 21 games in the Russian junior league, so he got a fair amount of experience for a younger player at that level, and he’s a player we’re looking at coming over and transitioning into our roster,” said Oil Kings general manager Randy Hansch said. “He had a growth spurt in the last two years, and his ability to make a good first pass appealed to us.”

Elizarov will be eligible for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

Meyer, 18, is a 1996-born forward from Switzerland, making him the first Swiss Oil King. The 6-0, 185-pounder had 16 points in 25 games for Bern in the Swiss Elite Jr. A league, and played four games for EHC Visp of the Swiss National League B. Meyer has previously represented Switzerland at the 2013-14 Hlinka Memorial Tournament among other levels, and has been invited to the Swiss development camp this summer for this year’s World Junior Championships.

“With Dario, he’s a player that’s grown up in the Swiss program, so he’s got some international experience, which we hope will help with the transition,” Hansch said. “He brings good energy to his game and is a good skater with the ability to play a two-way game.”ImportDraftSlideOHL1306

 

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