The CHL held its annual import draft today, where teams from across the Canadian junior leagues get to select the rights of players around the world. Often these are recently drafted prospects, or those seen to have good chances at next year’s draft. Being selected has no guarantee that the player will actually ever suit up for the team, as Filip Chytil proved last season. Chytil was selected seventh-overall by the North Bay Battalion, but ended up spending the year with the New York Rangers and Hartford Wolf Pack after impressing in his first training camp.
There are clear benefits from picking at the top of the draft though, as the Barrie Colts found out last season. Andrei Svechnikov was the first-overall selection, and ended up scoring 40 goals in 44 games before being the second-overall pick in the NHL draft last week. This year saw Slovakian-born Maxim Cajkovic go first to the Saint John Sea Dogs after tearing up the Swedish junior leagues last season. Cajkovic is eligible for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Teams are only allowed a certain number of import players, which leads to some passing on their selections even in the early part of the draft. Check out last year’s draft to see some familiar names.
The full results are below:
1. Saint John – Maxim Cajkovic (RW, Slovakia)
2. Edmonton – Vladimir Alistrov (LW, Belarus)
3. Sudbury – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (G, Finland/Buffalo Sabres)
4. Shawinigan – Valentin Nussbaumer (C, Switzerland)
5. Prince George – Matej Toman (LW, Czech Republic)