Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the final results of the 2018 CHL Import Draft.
The 27th annual CHL Import Draft included a total of 77 players consisting of 47 forwards and 23 defencemen while seven goaltenders were selected, marking the first time since 2013 that they have been eligible. The 77 players were chosen from across 12 different countries featuring a draft-high 16 players from the Czech Republic.
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 within each league from the 2017-18 season.
The Saint John Sea Dogs used the first overall pick to select Slovakian forward Maxim Cajkovic, a 2019 NHL Draft prospect who spent last season with Malmo of Sweden’s top junior league while also starring for his country at the IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship. The Edmonton Oil Kings used the second overall pick to select Belarusian forward Vladimir Alistrov who, like Cajkovic, was a standout at the IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship for his native Belarus. At third overall the Sudbury Wolves chose the first goaltender of the draft, selecting Buffalo Sabres second round pick Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen who spent much of the past season with LeKi of Finland’s Mestis league while also representing his country at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.
A trio of different countries made their return to the CHL Import Draft selections list including Austria (Marco Rossi, 18th to Ottawa and David Maier, 87th to North Bay) for the first time since 2016, Norway (Kristian Roykas Marthinsen, 83rd to Saskatoon) for the first time since 2014 and Great Britain (Liam Kirk, 9th to Peterborough) for the first time since 2010.
The 2018 CHL Import Draft featured 12 players previously selected by NHL teams in 2017 and 2018 drafts. Of that group, six players were selected at the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas this past weekend including second round pick Axel Andersson (57th, Boston) chosen 51st overall by the Kitchener Rangers, third round pick Jan Jenik (65th, Arizona) chosen sixth overall by the Flint Firebirds, fourth round picks in forward Matej Pekar (94th, Buffalo) chosen 108th overall by the Barrie Colts and goaltender Ivan Prosvetov (114th, Arizona) selected 15th overall by the Saginaw Spirit. Fifth round pick goaltender Akira Schmid (136th, New Jersey) was selected 20th overall by the Lethbridge Hurricanes while British standout and seventh round pick Liam Kirk (189th, Arizona) was chosen 9th overall by the Peterborough Petes to round out 2018 NHL Draft choices.
The Brandon Wheat Kings selected the lone first round NHL pick in the CHL Import Draft, picking Vegas Golden Knights prospect Erik Brannstrom, the 15th overall pick of the 2017 NHL Draft, with the 44th overall pick.
A total of 40 players selected in the 2018 CHL Import Draft are first-year eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft, while six players selected are not eligible for the NHL Draft until 2020.
Each team in the CHL is permitted to dress and play a maximum of two import players each season who are selected annually through the CHL Import Draft.
2018 CHL Import Draft Summary:
Draft Picks by Position:
Forward – 47
Defence – 23
Goaltender – 7
Draft Picks by Country:
Czech Republic – 16
Russia – 15
Belarus – 8
Finland – 8
Slovakia – 7
Switzerland – 7
Germany – 5
Sweden – 5
Denmark – 2
Austria – 2
Great Britain – 1 Norway – 1
Draft picks by Birthdate and NHL Status:
2001-born late and 2020 NHL Draft eligible – 6
2001-born and 2019 NHL Draft eligible – 32
2000-born late and 2019 NHL Draft eligible – 8
2000-born and 2018 NHL Drafted – 5
2000-born early and NHL Undrafted – 13
1999-born and NHL Drafted – 7
1999-born and NHL Undrafted – 6
NHL Draft picks in CHL Import Draft:
3. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (G) (Sudbury – 2nd round to Buffalo in 2017)
6. Jan Jenik (RW) (Flint – 3rd round to Arizona in 2018)
9. Liam Kirk (LW) (Peterborough – 7th round to Arizona in 2018)
15. Ivan Prosvetov (G) (Saginaw – 4th round to Arizona in 2018)
20. Akira Schmid (G) (Lethbridge – 5th round to New Jersey in 2018)
44. Erik Brannstrom (D) (Brandon – 1st round to Vegas in 2017)
48. Maksim Zhukov (G) (Barrie – 4th round to Vegas in 2017)
51. Axel Andersson (D) (Kitchener – 2nd round to Boston in 2018)
83. Kristian Roykas Marthinsen (LW) (Saskatoon – 7th round to Washington in 2017)
96. Daniel Bukac (D) (Niagara – 7th round to Boston in 2017)
104. Jiri Patera (G) (Brandon – 6th round to Vegas in 2017)
108. Matej Pekar (C) (Buffalo – 4th round to Buffalo in 2018)
A total of 12 players acquired through the CHL Import Draft were recently selected in the 2017 NHL Draft including Carolina Hurricanes second overall pick Andrei Svechnikov of the Barrie Colts, Detroit Red Wings sixth overall pick Filip Zadina of the Halifax Mooseheads, Toronto Maple Leafs 29th overall pick Rasmus Sandin of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Washington Capitals 31st overall pick Alexander Alexeyev of the Red Deer Rebels all going in the first round. Last season a total of 72 players were selected from 11 different countries led by 19 players from Russia and consisting of 50 forwards and 22 defencemen.