Toronto, Ont. – Ontario Hockey League member teams selected 23 players from across 10 different countries in the 29th annual CHL Import Draft held Tuesday online at CHL.ca.
Seventeen OHL clubs made selections, with the Kingston Frontenacs, Soo Greyhounds and Guelph Storm each passing on both of their picks. The Erie Otters, Barrie Colts, Sudbury Wolves, Peterborough Petes, Saginaw Spirit and Ottawa 67’s each made two selections.
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 each league from the 2019-20 season.
The North Bay Battalion selected Russian-born 17-year-old winger Matvei Petrov with the first overall pick. He’s added to an up-and-coming Battalion depth chart after putting up nine points (5-4–9) over 21 games with MHK Krylia Sovetov of Russia’s top junior circuit. Petrov follows Andrei Svechnikov as the first Russian player to be selected first overall in the CHL Import Draft. Chosen first by the Barrie Colts in 2017, Svechnikov went on to earn OHL Rookie of the Year honours and was selected second overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2018 NHL Draft.
The Niagara IceDogs added another highly touted Russian forward with the fourth overall selection of Daniil Gushchin. The draft eligible 18-year-old spent the 2019-20 season with the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks, recording 47 points (22-25–47) over 42 games after leading Russia to gold at last summer’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
The Sarnia Sting rounded out the OHL’s top ten selections with the addition of Slovakian centreman Alex Geci at seventh overall who split the 2019-20 season between the junior ranks in Slovakia and Finland. The 16-year-old registered 14 points (6-8–14) over 13 games with Finland’s Lukko U18 program before finishing things out with 17 points (8-9–17) over 27 contests with Slovakia’s HC Slovan Bratislava U20.
Other picks of intrigue include the Mississauga Steelheads’ addition of 6-foot-6, 231Ib. Danish defenceman Kasper Larsen at 19th overall. The Owen Sound Attack added a defenceman with prior CHL experience in draft eligible Swiss rearguard Noah Delemont who spent 2019-20 with the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan, registering 13 points (3-10–13) over 64 games. Chosen with the 28th pick, Delemont was the third overall pick of last summer’s 2019 CHL Import Draft. The Saginaw Spirit selected the OHL’s lone late 2003-born addition in 2022 NHL Draft eligible Russian defender Pavel Mintyukov at 52nd overall. The Spirit also nabbed a prospect of the nearby Detroit Red Wings in 2019 third round NHL Draft pick Albin Grewe of Sweden who they chose 112th overall. The London Knights selected a top 2020 NHL Draft prospect in German talent John Jason Peterka who they chose 55th overall. Peterka spent 2019-20 in the German Elite League and was the seventh-ranked European skater on NHL Central Scouting’s Final NHL Draft Rankings.
The Erie Otters picked up the first of two goaltenders selected by OHL clubs with the addition of Belarusian netminder Alexei Kolosov at 22nd overall. The Kitchener Rangers followed suit, adding Czech talent Pavel Cajan with the 49th overall pick.
OHL member teams selected a total of six players in their first year of eligibility for the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft in addition to 13 eligible for next year’s 2021 NHL Draft.
Each CHL team is permitted to dress a maximum of two import players each season who are selected annually through the CHL Import Draft.
OHL at the 2020 CHL Import Draft Summary:
Draft Picks by Position:
Forwards – 12
Defencemen – 9
Goaltenders – 2
Draft Picks by Country:
Russia – 7 (ER, HAM, NIAG, NB, OTT, SAG, WSR)
Belarus – 3 (BAR, ER, FLNT)
Slovakia – 3 (OSH, SAR, SBY)
Czech Republic – 2 (BAR, KIT)
Finland – 2 (OTT, SBY)
Switzerland – 2 (PBO, OS)
Denmark – 1 (MISS)
Germany – 1 (LDN)
Latvia – 1 (PBO)
Sweden – 1 (SAG)
Draft picks by Birthdate and NHL Status:
2003-born late and 2022 NHL Draft eligible – 1
2003-born early and 2021 NHL Draft eligible – 9
2002-born late and 2021 NHL Draft eligible – 4
2002-born early and 2020 NHL Draft eligible – 6
2001-born late and 2020 NHL Draft eligible – 0
2001-born early and 2019 NHL Drafted – 1
2001-born early and NHL Undrafted – 2
NHL Draft picks by OHL teams in the CHL Import Draft:
112. Albin Grewe (LW) (Saginaw – 3rd round to Detroit in 2019)
Last summer OHL teams selected a total of 28 players from 12 different countries led by five players from both the Czech Republic and Finland consisting of 13 forwards, 12 defencemen and three goaltenders.
For full coverage of the 2020 CHL Import Draft, visit chl.ca.
About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league. For more information visit http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/.