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CHL Import Draft

BWK select 2 in the 2016 CHL Import Draft

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League’s Annual Import Draft was held Tuesday and the Brandon Wheat Kings used the 59th overall pick to select 18-year old Swedish defenceman Linus Nassen.

A 6’ 174 lb native of Norrtalje, Sweden, Nassen scored five goals and 21 points in 41 games for Lulea HF of the Swedish Junior Elite League. He also played ten games with the top division club in the SHL.

A mobile, left-shooting defenceman, Nassen was chosen by the Florida Panthers in the third round (89th overall) in Saturday’s National Hockey League Draft in Buffalo. He was ranked 46thamong EU skaters by Central Scouting.

The Wheat Kings, who captured their first Western Hockey League Championship in 20 years, had the final pick of the first round because the Victoria Royals have two imports committed to their roster for the 2016-17 season.

In round two, the Wheat Kings closed out the draft by choosing 6’4” 175 lb. right-hand shot defenceman Daniel Bukac from the Czech Republic.

In 38 games with the Chomutov U18 Juniors in 2015-16, Bukac scored three goals and 15 points, while accumulating 42 minutes in penalties.

The 17-year old Bukac will be eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft.

“We felt we had a good draft. Improving our defence was a priority,” says Brandon coach and general manager Kelly McCrimmon. “If we can secure releases and the players report in the fall, it will certainly address a need.”

Brandon has lost a number of key defenceman from last year’s club – captain Macoy Erkamps, Mitchell Wheaton and Russian Ivan Provorov.

Provorov, the CHL’s Top Defenceman this past year, was one of three imports to begin the 2015-16 season with the Wheat Kings. However, Rihards Bukarts and Dario Winkler were moved during the season o Portland and Everett respectively.

Philadelphia’s first round pick (7th overall) in last June’s National Hockey League Draft, Provorov led all WHL defencemen in scoring this past season with 21 goals and 73 points in 62 games. He also helped Russia capture its second straight Silver Medal at the World Junior Hockey Championship in Finland.

Today’s 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. The WHL’s Kootenay Ice used the first pick to choose Russian center Klim Kostin while the Vancouver Giants, with the fourth overall selection, opted for right-winger Filip Zadina from the Czech Republic.

Tuesday’s CHL Import Draft caps off a busy week for the Wheat Kings, who unveiled their 2016-17 regular season schedule Monday and saw two of their players – Kale Clague and Tanner Kaspick – chosen in the NHL Draft in Buffalo.

The Wheat Kings will open up the 2016-17 regular season with a home and home series with Moose Jaw during the week of September 23-24th.

Oil Kings Select Artyom Baltruk in CHL Import Draft

EDMONTON, ALTA. – The Edmonton Oil Kings added a big forward in the CHL Import Draft Tuesday, selecting Belarus centre Artyom Baltruk.

Baltruk is a 6’2, 190-pound product of Belarus who played 28 games last season for Dinamo—Raubichi in the Belarus2 League. The 17-year-old put up five goals with seven assists and 22 penalty minutes over that span. In 12 playoff games, Baltruk had a pair of goals and a helper as well.

Baltruk also represented the Belarus ‘99 Team at the 2016 Mac’s AAA Midget Hockey Tournament where he collected two goals (one of the  a game-winning goal) and an assist over five games.

“We are very pleased to have selected Artyom,” said Oil Kings General Manager Randy Hansch. “He has good size and a right shot which we were looking for along with the ability to play centre or the wing, plus his age will fit well with our program. As a staff we were able to have viewings of Artyom at the Mac’s AAA Midget Tournament last year where he adapted well against some strong competition. We are looking forward to having Artyom join the Edmonton Oil Kings.”

Baltruk will be eligible for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and through a translator in Belarus said, “I am overwhelmed with emotions and am ready to play in North America and will work hard.”


Vladislav Yeryomenko and Andrei Grishakov


Calgary, AB – The Calgary Hitmen Hockey Club today announced the selections of Vladislav Yeryomenko and Andrei Grishakov in the 2016 CHL Import Draft.

“We are very pleased to be able to add two players with significant international experience and ability to our team,” said Hitmen General Manager and Vice President of Business Operations Mike Moore.  “The additions of Andrei and Vladislav will compliment what we feel is an already strong group of 1999 born players in our system, as well as add some very good depth and skill to our lineup.”

Yeryomenko, a 17-year-old defenceman from Mishutki, Belarus, has an extensive resume having played for Belarus at the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship and at the 2015/16 Mac’s AAA Midget World Invitational Tournament in Calgary for the U17 Belarus National Team.


HOMETOWN:        Mishutki, Belarus (April 22, 1999)       
HEIGHT:               6’1”                          WEIGHT:        185 lbs.

SHOOTS:              Right

ACQUIRED:           Drafted by the Calgary Hitmen, 46th overall, in the 2016 CHL Import Draft

Season Team League GP G A PTS +/- PIM
2015-16 Regular Dinamo-Raubichi Belarus2 35 6 17 23 NA 30
2016 BelarusU18 WJC-18 D1A 5 0 4 4 1 2

Grishakov, a 17-year-old forward from Chelyabinsk, Russia was an elite scorer for Traktor’s U17’s this past season but also notched more than two points a game during a brief stop in the U18 league.


HOMETOWN:        Chelyabinsk, Russia (May 16, 1999)   
HEIGHT:               6’1”                          WEIGHT:        190 lbs.

SHOOTS:              Left

ACQUIRED:           Drafted by the Calgary Hitmen, 106th overall, in the 2016 CHL Import Draft

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM
2015-16 Traktor Chelyabinsk RussiaU17 32 21 24 45 10
2015-16 Traktor Chelyabinsk RussiaU18 4 4 5 9 4

Past Calgary Hitmen Import Draft selections include: Pavel Karnaukhov (2014), Radel Fazleev (2013), Pavel Padakin (2012), Victor Rask (2011), Bostjan Golicic (2007), Freddie Pettersson (2005), Konstantin Pushkarev (2004), Fredrik Sjostrom (2001) and Pavel Brendl (1998).



TORONTO – The Spokane Chiefs selected teammates Ondrej Najman (First Round, 22nd Overall) and Pavel Kousal (Second Round, 82nd Overall) today in the 2016 CHL Import Draft. Both players are from Jihlava, Czech Republic.

Najman (“NY-man”), a 1998-born forward, stands at 6-foot-1 and 187 pounds. He was the leading scorer for HC Dukla Jihlava of the Czech U20 Extraliga, scoring 18 goals and 26 assists for 44 points in 38 games, including four multi-goal performances. Najman competed for the Czechs at the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship in Grand Forks, N.D., scoring three goals and three assists in five games.

“Najman is a skilled player with a heavy shot and good instincts,” said Chiefs General Manager Tim Speltz. “He plays with his head up and sees the ice well, creating plays for his teammates. He also has the size and strength to compete physically in our league and play a complete 200-foot game.”

Kousal (“KOO-suhl”), a 5-foot-11, 158-pound forward, scored 20 goals and 23 assists in 38 games with the same Dukla Jihlava U20 team, including a stretch in which he scored a point in 11 of 12 games. He added three assists in the Czechs’ five games at the U18 World Championship. Kousal has a late 1998 birthday (November) and will be eligible for the NHL Entry Draft in 2017.

“Kousal is a quick, tenacious forward with a lot of upside. He produced at a high level offensively last season and works hard for the puck.”

Forward Dominic Zwerger, who will be 20 years old on July 16, will also be in the mix for the Chiefs. The three-year WHL veteran led the team with 27 goals scored last season. Spokane will have until a date TBD to get under the CHL-mandated limit of two import players.

NOTES: Najman and Kousal were two of 12 Czech players selected in the 2016 CHL Import Draft. Only Russia (24) and Finland (13) had more players taken. The Chiefs were one of seven WHL teams to make two selections in the draft. Five teams did not pick.

Red Deer Rebels Take Alexander Alexeyev In The CHL Import Draft

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

Alexeyev will be a 17-year old this hockey season, although his birthday is not until November 15th, and will not be eligible for the NHL Draft until 2018.  He was selected in the Kontinental Hockey League draft this year; he went in the 1st round, 3rd overall, to Metallurg Novokuznetsk.  Alexeyev represented Russia in the 2015 U-17 and the 2016 U-18 championships.

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.  The Rebels will only be making one pick today, Michael Spacek is the Rebels other import player.

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

Alexander Alexeyev

Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Russia

Last year’s Team:  St. Petersburg SL (Russian Junior)

DOB:  November 15, 1999

Position:  Defence

HT: 6’3”

WT: 180lbs

Pats Select Filip Ahl in CHL Import Draft

Regina, Saskatchewan – The Regina Pats Hockey Club is pleased to select forward Filip Ahl (’97) 31st overall in the CHL Import Draft.

Ahl (6’4”, 214) hails from Jonkoping, Sweden and was a fourth round pick (109th overall) of the Ottawa Senators in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.  In 18 games with HV71 Jonkoping of the Swedish SuperElit league, Ahl posted 31 points (18G, 13A) in just 18 games through the 2015-16 season.  Over his SuperElit junior career, Ahl totaled 93 points (49G, 44A) in 77 games played.

Internationally, Ahl has been a fixture in Sweden’s national program wearing his country’s colours playing for the U16, U17, U18, U19 and U20 programs.  At the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup tournament, Ahl had two assists and 27 penalty minutes in five games.  In 2015, Ahl suited up for the World U18 Championships where he tallied three assists in five games to go with 16 penalty minutes.

The big forward made plenty of appearances in the professional ranks over the past few years.  In 2015-16, Ahl played 33 games spread between HV71 Jonkoping, Asploven HC, HC Dalen and IF Sundsvall Hockey while registering seven points (5G, 2A).  Back in the 2013-14 season, Ahl made his Swedish Hockey League debut at 16 years of age, the youngest player to ever appear with HV71 and ninth youngest in SHL history.

Filip Ahl joins New York Rangers prospect Sergey Zborovskiy as the two import players on the Pats roster.


Prince George, B.C. – With the 28th overall selection in the 2016 CHL Import Draft, the Prince George Cougars picked 1998-born forward Axel Jonsson-Fjällby (Stockholm, SWE).

The 18-year-old Swede checks in at 6’0” and 169 pounds and was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the fifth round (147th overall) in last weekend’s NHL Draft in Buffalo. In 39 games played with Djurgårdens IF J20 in the SuperElit League, Jonsson-Fjällby scored 13 goals and added 16 assists and 8 penalty minutes and was a +11. He then struck for four goals and four assists in seven playoff games. Internationally he represented Sweden in the World Under-18 championship tournament and scored two goals and added two assists in seven games en route to a Silver Medal and was named a Top 3 Player on his team during the tournament.

Axel Jonsson-Fjällby is a skilled forward that plays with a lot of energy and can absolutely fly. He will be very disruptive to other teams thanks to his intensity and his ability to get onto loose pucks,” said Cougars General Manager, Todd Harkins. “He’s an NHL drafted prospect who is excited to come to Canada to play and I feel that his type of skill-set will translate very well to the Western Hockey League. I am very excited to welcome Axel and his family to the Prince George Cougars organization.”

Each team in the CHL is allowed to have two Imports on their active roster and the Cougars two spots are now occupied by Axel Jonsson- Fjällbyand Bartek Bison (Amsterdam, NL).  In order to make room for Axel Jonsson-Fjällby, the Cougars have released 1997-born defenceman Luka Zorko (Novo Mesto, SI). The Cougars would like to thank Luka for his contributions to the team in 2015-16 and wish him the very best moving forward.


Kamloops, BC – The Kamloops Blazers have selected 19-year-old forward Rudolfs Balcers 43rdoverall in the CHL Import Draft.

Balcers is a fifth round selection of the San Jose Sharks in the 2015 NHL Draft. The 5’11” and 165lb forward has played the past two seasons with the Stavanger Oilers in Norway’s top pro league.

Balcers had 15 goals and 24 points in 43 games last season as the youngest player on his team. He added 10 points in 17 playoff games which was third in scoring for Stavanger. His team won the league championship in 2015-16.

“We are excited to add Rudolfs to our team,” commented General Manager, Stu MacGregor. “He is a skilled player with great speed. We’ve had some great reports on Rudolfs and believe he will be a very good player for us.”

The Liepaja, Latvia native has played internationally with Latvia at many different tournaments including the U-18 World Championship and the U-20 Division 1 World Championship.

Balcers is the first Latvian player to be taken by the Blazers in the CHL Import Draft.

To purchase your 2016-17 season tickets, or for other ticketing information, please contact Ticketing & Promotions Coordinator, Missy Cederholm at 778-471-8068 or by email atmcederholm@blazerhockey.com.

Warriors Select Zaitsev 33rd Overall

With the 33rd overall selection at the 2016 CHL Import Draft the Moose Jaw Warriors drafted 18-year-old defenseman Dmitry Zaitsev.

Zaitsev, 6’1”/185lbs/LD, is from Togliatti, Russia and played last season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights in the North American Hockey League (NAHL), in 53 games he had seven goals, 15 assists, 22 points, and 74 penalty minutes, and was named to the All-East Division Rookie Team.

Zaitsev competed for Russia at the 2016 IIHF World Under-18 Championships, in five games he recorded one assist.  He was recently selected in the 7th round, 207th overall, by the Washington Capitals at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.


For Immediate Release: June 28, 2016

Vancouver, B.C. – The Vancouver Giants announced on Tuesday that the hockey club has selected 1999-born Czech forward Filip Zadina with the fourth overall pick in the 2016 CHL Import Draft.

“We’re excited to add Filip to our group,” said General Manager Glen Hanlon. “We’ve selected a world class player who is already touted as being a high pick in the NHL Draft in 2018. As a 1999-born player, he fits in well with the age group of players that we have, and we look forward to his continued development with our team.”

Zadina spent the 2015/16 season with HC Paradubice U20, scoring 10 goals and seven assists in 19 games. The 16-year-old also suited up for HC Paradubice in the Czech Extraliga for two games and represented his country at the 2016 Under-18 World Championships in April, tallying five points in five games. Zadina was a fifth round pick of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the 2016 KHL Draft.


Radel Fazleev and Pavel Karnaukhov not expected back


Calgary, AB – The Calgary Hitmen Hockey Club today announced they will make two picks in the 2016 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft.  The online draft will consist of two rounds and will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, June 28.

Fans can follow it live at www.chl.ca with Calgary’s first round pick 46th overall.

CHL teams are allowed a maximum of two import players and the Hitmen have a pair of vacancies on their roster.  Radel Fazleev is expected to turn pro with the Philadelphia Flyers organization while Pavel Karnaukhov has decided to play in Russia with Central Red Army after signing a professional contract with the KHL team.

Fazleev, who led Calgary in scoring last season and took home the Player of the Year award, spent three seasons with the Hitmen tallying 147 points in 168 games.  Karnaukhov, a Calgary Flames prospect, spent two seasons with the Hitmen totaling 73 points in 118 games.

The selection order of the draft rotates through the WHL, QMJHL and OHL using an inverse order of the final regular season standings from the 2015-16 season.

Past Calgary Hitmen Import Draft selections include: Pavel Padakin (2012), Victor Rask (2011), Bostjan Golicic (2007), Freddie Pettersson (2005), Konstantin Pushkarev (2004), Fredrik Sjostrom (2001) and Pavel Brendl (1998).

Calgary Hitmen season tickets for the 2016-17 WHL campaign are now available.  For more information on ticket packages and the exclusive privileges offered to Hitmen season seat members, visit HitmenHockey.com or contact customer service at 403-777-4646.

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